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Innocent Admission

Following PETA pressure, two illegal bull races stopped in Punjab

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Rupnagar, Punjab, May 13, 2019 (Yes Punjab News)

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India sprang into action after learning that bull races were scheduled to take place in Dholan Majra and Kalal Marja villages, Rupnagar district, on 11 and 12 May respectively. The group’s Emergency Response Team worked closely with the Additional Director General of Police – Law & Order, Deputy Commissioner and the Senior Superintendent of Police, Rupnagar. Both the events were stopped from going ahead, preventing numerous bulls from being tormented.

“The Supreme Court has made clear that bullock cart races are illegal, and there’s no place in a civilised society for biting bulls’ sensitive tails and beating them mercilessly in order to force them to run at high speeds, as is common at such events,” says PETA India Lead Emergency Response Coordinator Meet Ashar. “Bulls already have a hard life without the additional torment of being forced to race. We commend the Additional Director General of Police, Law & Order, Rupnagar Deputy Commissioner and Senior Superintendent of Police for upholding the law and protecting bulls from abuse.”

PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way” – notes that on 8 March, after hearing an urgent petition filed by PETA India challenging the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2019, which would allow cruel bullock cart races to be held at the annual Kila Raipur Sports Festival held near Ludhiana, the Additional Advocate General appearing for the Punjab state assured the court that “no permission either has been granted or will be granted for holding any Bullock Cart Race” and that “till such time the proposed amendment receive the Presidential assent, no application for permission for hosting any such event would be entertained”.

Several investigations conducted by PETA India reveal that during bullock cart races, bulls are often beaten mercilessly with wooden sticks that are spiked with nails in order to get them to run faster in the sweltering heat and that their tails are twisted and snapped, causing them extreme pain and leaving them covered with blood. During the Kila Raipur Sports Festival in February 2014 – before the Supreme Court of India banned bullock cart races – three bulls were injured, one sustaining a knee fracture, when a number of them ran out of control. During the same event, another pair of panicked bulls were injured when they smashed into vehicles in the parking area. PETA India’s petitions in the Supreme Court seek to challenge the constitutional validity of Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu state laws aiming to allow the use of bulls for performances overturn and thereby to have them overturned.

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