Karnataka amends law to allow kambala

‘TRADITIONAL SPORT’: A kambala event in progress at Manipal, Karnataka.

‘TRADITIONAL SPORT’: A kambala event in progress at Manipal, Karnataka.

Paving the way for the conduct of kambala, traditional buffalo race, the Karnataka Legislative Assembly on Monday passed the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill, 2017.The Bill seeks to exempt kambala and bullock-cart racing from the ambit of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960.

Kambala is currently stayed by the High Court following a petition by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Thousands in the coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi, where kambala is widely held, had protested the ban. They argued that the annual kambala races in paddy fields were part of their tradition. The sport did not torture animals, they said. The movement gathered momentum after the jallikattu agitation in the neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

Governor Vajubhai R. Vala is likely to refer the Bill to the President for his assent.

PETA criticises move

PETA, in a press release, called the amended Bill “a setback to the welfare of buffaloes.”

The cruelty inherent in events such as bull and buffalo races violated the PCA Act, 1960, it said.

Poorva Joshipura, CEO, PETA India, said three kambala events inspected by the Animal Welfare Board of India had resulted in the filing of 65 non-cognisable offence complaints and an FIR in 2014-15.

Allegation of cruelty

PETA said the inspection reports contained a scientific assessment of the welfare of buffaloes that were forced to participate in such events, including evidence of different forms of cruelty inflicted on the animals. “Many of the buffaloes frothed at the mouth, salivated heavily, and displayed increased respiration rates, demonstrating that they struggle, and are anatomically unfit to be forced to take part,” said the statement.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 4:17:07 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/Karnataka-amends-law-to-allow-kambala/article17296265.ece