Amid reports that the Environment Ministry may move a Cabinet note to amend a legislation which is likely to allow use of bulls for Jallikattu, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on Tuesday said the step will make India appear “backward and archaic” in the eyes of the world.
Referring to reports, the animal rights body claimed said the Environment Ministry is set to move a Cabinet note for weakening the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
It also claimed the ministry may bring the amendment, which aims to allow the use of bulls for Jallikattu, bullock cart races and animal fights and to allow other abuses of animals, in Parliament as early as in the Monsoon Session.
“Reverence for animals, not animal abuse, is Indian culture. The Environment Ministry’s continued attempts to circumvent the Supreme Court verdict against cruelty to bulls and to weaken India’s animal protection laws shows it is woefully out of touch with the majority of the Indian public who want animals protected.
“Attempts to allow cruelty like Jallikattu at a time when countries around the world are banning outdated spectacles like bullfighting and animal circuses makes India appear backward and archaic in the eyes of the world,” said PETA India CEO, Poorva Joshipura.
The body said the move comes at a time when citizens have been campaigning for stricter laws to protect animals following the death of police horse Shaktimaan and other publicised cases of animal abuse.
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PETA in a statement said the draft bill reportedly proposes that animals currently banned from use in performances shall be allowed to be exhibited or trained as a performing animals in a manner prescribed by religion, by a community, custom or culture.
“The central government’s move is being made as another attempt to skirt around the 2014 Supreme Court verdict which confirmed that use of bulls in Jallikattu, bull races and bullfights are inherently cruel which means no amount of regulation can protect bulls used in performances from unnecessary suffering and that, such spectacles are illegal under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act 1960,” PETA said in the statement.
It also said the Court also upheld the central government’s 2011 notification that bans the use of bulls in performances and acknowledged that bulls are anatomically unfit to be forced to run.
The Environment Ministry on January 7 issued a notification attempting to lift the ban, which was stayed by the Supreme Court, after the notification was being challenged by the Animal Welfare Board of India and renowned animal welfare organizations, including PETA, India.