Recent context : Supreme Court while hearing the Jallikattu case said that prevention of cruelty is not an absolute idea.

Some facts about Jallikattu for prelims :

  • Jallikattuis practised in the Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal festival
  • It is a traditional event in which a bull is released into a crowd of people, and they to grab the hump on the bull’s back with both arms and hang on to it while the bull attempts to escape.
  • Jallikattuhas been known to be practiced during the Tamil classical period (400–100 BCE).
  • A tradition over 2,000 years old, Jallikattu is a competitive sport as well as an event to honour bull owners who rear them for mating.
  • A seal from the Indus Valley civilization depicting the practice is preserved in the National Museum, New Delhi.

Figure showing jallikattu and showing animals are treated.

Controversy regarding the sport :

  • Between 2008 and 2014, 43 humans and 4 bulls were killed in the jallikattu
  • Animal welfare concerns are related to the handling of the bulls before they are released (spraying red chilli powder and giving alcohol, stabbing to make the bull furious).
  • Animal welfare organisations (FIAPO) and PETA Indiahave protested against the practice.
  • The Animal Welfare Board of Indiafiled a case in the Supreme Court of Indiafor an outright ban on jallikattu because of the cruelty to animals and the threat to public safety involved.
  • The Ministry of Environment and Forestsissued a notification in 2011 that banned the use of bulls as performing animals, thereby banning the event.
  • But the practice continued to be held under Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act No 27 of 2009.
  • On 7 May 2014, the Supreme Court of Indiastruck down the State law and banned jallikattu
  • However, with protests from the people against the ban, a new ordinance was made in 2017 to continue the sport.

Prevention of cruelty to animals act, 1960 :

  • This act was legislated with the intention to prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on animals.
  • It also established Animal Welfare Board of India in 1962 under section 4 of the act.

Syllabus : prelims- Culture: sports in news.