Cops, PETA stop bullock cart race in its tracks in Shahapur

PETA gave police tip-off; second operation in region this year

A bullock cart race was prevented in Shahapur in a joint operation by the Thane Rural Police and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India on Tuesday. This is the second such operation by the police and PETA this year.

According to the Shahapur police, the operation was conducted in the Ambarje village, following a tip-off from PETA members.

PETA India's Lead Emergency Response Coordinator, Meet Ashar, informed Superintendent of Police Shivaji Rathod, Thane Rural Police, and the information was passed on to the Vasind police.

“Our information indicated that the race was scheduled for 4 p.m. but we reached the spot at 2 p.m. itself and convinced the people that though the race is a means of entertainment for them, harming animals is a punishable offence. Subsequently, the crowd dispersed and we destroyed the tracks made for the race,” said Police Inspector Raju Vanjari, Vasind police station.

Mr. Vanjari said the bullock cart race is a popular means of entertainment in rural Thane, Raigad and Panvel. “Usually, farmers in the village who own bullocks come together and organise such events. Sometimes even betting is involved,” he said.

Speaking about the police’s efforts to prevent such events from recurring, Mr. Vanjari said their main objective is to sensitise the villagers about the fact that such races inflict harm upon bulls.

PETA, meanwhile, has condemned the practice of using animals for entertainment. Mr. Ashar said forcing bulls to run by beating them with wooden sticks studded with nails and breaking their tailbones should not be encouraged in a civilised society. “The Supreme Court has clearly stated that bullock cart races are illegal,” he said.

In 2014, the Supreme Court banned bullock cart races across the country as it violates the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, according to which persons in charge of animals should not inflict unnecessary pain or suffering upon them.

Mr. Ashar said in October 2018, Ajay Marathe, an animal rights activist, had filed a public interest litigation in the Bombay High Court against the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Maharashtra Amendment) Act, 2017 which aims to legalise bullock cart races. “PETA India filed an intervention application in that case, after which the Supreme Court stayed the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Maharashtra Amendment) Act, 2017,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 8:20:59 AM |

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