Tamil Nadu

Bull races keep veterinarians busy in Vellore, nearby districts

A bull running on the track at an event in Vellore on Wednesday.

A bull running on the track at an event in Vellore on Wednesday.

Bull races in Vellore, Tirupattur and Tiruvannamalai have kept veterinarians busy, especially since Pongal holidays, with an average of eight to ten injured bulls being treated in each village, where races are being held everyday.

At present, bull races are allowed in all 670 villages in Vellore district in a phased manner. Everyday, three villages, shortlisted by the district administration, are permitted to conduct the race as per Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). The races will be held till the end of March.

“Each bull is examined mainly on its fitness to participate in the race. Bulls aged two and above are eligible. Most injured bulls are treated at the medical camp in the race village,” Dr. G. Andhuvan, Assistant Director (AD), Animal Husbandry Department (Vellore), told The Hindu .

Veterinarians said most of the bulls are allowed to run on the earmarked runway in the village, as part of the race. However, many bulls get nervous because of noise and excitement of the crowd, which makes them run to extreme ends of the runway and injure themselves, hitting wooden barricades.

These animals are treated at the medical camp in the village and also transported to the hospital in key towns in the district.

A five-member medical team, comprising a surgeon, two livestock inspectors and two animal husbandry assistants, has been deployed in each village where races are being held. They treat the bulls at the camp and shift them in an ambulance to the district hospital in Vellore for major injuries. Apart from injuries that bulls sustain, the waiting time to finish the race is long, as many bulls take part in each race. This causes fatigue to the bulls, veterinarians said.

Tiruvannamalai and Tirupatur have also organised bull races in farming villages within major towns.Veterinarians said at present, no deaths of bulls were reported in all the races been held so far. A few spectators were killed due to accidents in such races, especially in Vellore, since last week.

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Printable version | May 17, 2022 6:58:52 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/bull-races-keep-veterinarians-busy-in-vellore-nearby-districts/article38294428.ece