Against the backdrop of recent Jallikattu row, a private member’s bill seeking to exempt bull from the protected list of animals was today taken up in the Rajya Sabha but it was withdrawn after the government promised to look into the matter. Moving the Private Members’ resolution, DMK member Tiruchi Siva said amendments to the Prevention of Cruelty Act 1960 would avoid repeat of agitations which were witnessed in Tamil Nadu when Jallikattu was banned.
He added that the bull is used for agricultural purposes and other activities in rural parts of the country and is intrinsic part of the nations’s culture and traditions.
“Bull should be exempted from the Prevention of Cruelty Act 1960. We don’t want to witness agitations every year in Tamil Nadu. When there is Parliament to enact laws, it (Act) should be amended to exempt bulls from ths list,” said Siva, a member from the state.
Some weeks back, Tamil Nadu saw widespread agitations against the ban on Jallikattu, a traditional annual ritual of the state in which people attempt to tame the bulls.
The Supreme Court had ordered the ban on it after animal rights activists approached it, citing cruelty to the bull in the sport. The event could finally take place after the state assembly passed a bill to circumvent the court order.
Siva added that foreign organisations like PETA, which are opposed to Jallikattu, intend to harm the country’s traditions and culture.
While acknowleding the “valid points” raised by the DMK member, Minister of State for Parliamentary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi urged him to withdraw the resolution.
He said Siva and other members who participated in the debate gave very good suggestions and the government will consider those whenever the matter is taken up in future.
“There were so many good suggestions which came out during the discussion. These will be helpful in future legislations. Whenever we take up this matter, we will include all your suggestions,” Naqvi assured the members.
Earlier replying to a debate on the private member’s bill, Minister of State for Agriculture Sudarshan Bhagat said the government has initiated various schemes to encourage use of indigenous animals in the country.
He said the government has released funds to various states under ‘Gokul Grams’ scheme for breeding indigenous breeds.
TKS Elangovan (DMK), also from Tamil Nadu, said Jallikattu is a celebration with the bull and it is not meant to harm the animal.
He added that there is no place in the country where bulls are more pampered or protected than in Tamil Nadu.