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Goa govt wants bullfighting legalised

Locally known as ‘Dhirio’, the sport involves two bullocks that are prodded by their handlers to charge at each other. Spectators are also allowed to place bets.

Written by Harsha Raj Gatty | Panaji |
Updated: September 24, 2015 12:02:17 am
goa, goa bullfighting, Goa govt, bullfighting goa, goa bullfighting legalisation, goa bullfight, Laxmikant Parsekar, Dhirio, Goa Dhirio, Goa latest news Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said on Wednesday that based on suggestions from the House committee, his government will decide on the matter soon.

The Goa government is mulling ways to legalise bullfighting — a sport which is currently banned — to attract more tourists. Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said on Wednesday that based on suggestions from the House committee, his government will decide on the matter soon.

“For every bullfight, over 5,000 spectators gather. So just imagine the amount of revenue the sport can generate if it is undertaken formally. It is a traditional entertainment sport for Goans and it can transform into a reliable income generating source for farmers during the off-season,” said Parsekar.

The Chief Minister added that a House committee, headed by MLA Vishnu Surya Naik Wagh, will consider questions related to the welfare of animals.

“Health and safety will be paramount. We will take all measures for safety so that it does not attract any penal provisions under the existing law. But it is necessary to revive the sport,” added Parsekar.

Locally known as ‘Dhirio’, the sport involves two bullocks that are prodded by their handlers to charge at each other. Spectators are also allowed to place bets.

The CM’s remarks came barely three days after an illegal bullfight was hosted at Arambol in his constituency, Mandrem. While the local police registered a case, no arrests were made.

In 1997, in response to the petition filed by People for Animals (PFA) against ‘Dhirio’, the Goa bench of Bombay High Court had banned bullfighting under the provisions of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Later, the Special leave Petition filed by the state was dismissed by the apex court.

Responding to the state government’s stance, PFA activist Norma Alvares said his organisation will file a contempt petition before the High Court for allowing the bullfight to take place in the CM’s constituency under the pretext of Ganesh Chaturthi.

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