Maharashtra’s Bulls Need Your Help

 

The Honourable Supreme Court of India has passed an order allowing bull cart races in Maharashtra, and now the state’s bulls need your help.

The court had banned bull cart races – as well as bullfights, jallikattu, kambala, and similar spectacles – in May 2014 because they are inherently cruel and involve inflicting physical and psychological abuse on bulls. However, the Maharashtra government enacted the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Maharashtra Amendment) Act, 2017, and set out the Maharashtra Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Conduct of Bullock Cart Race) Rules, 2017, in an attempt to override the ban and permit bull cart races again in the state. Now that the Supreme Court of India has allowed bull cart racing by overturning the order of the High Court of Bombay – which stayed the Maharashtra amendment Act and Rules allowing bull cart racing there – the animals used and abused in this cruel spectacle desperately need your continued help.

Bulls don’t run during races because they want to win a title or prize – they bolt because someone has hit them with a weapon, such as a nail-studded stick or a whip. Frenzied participants sometimes even break their tailbones at each joint, which is equivalent to breaking a human’s finger joint by joint. These barbaric acts directly contravene the central government’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, which clearly states that it’s an offence for animals to be beaten, kicked, over-ridden, tortured, or otherwise subjected to pain or unnecessary suffering (or for owners to permit such treatment). Moreover, allowing bull cart races not only goes against the Constitution of India’s mandate for compassion for animals but also apparently violates the provisions of the Bombay Police Act, 1951, and is counter to the spirit of the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, 1995.

PETA India released a detailed investigation report – with video documentation – of bull cart races in Maharashtra, which revealed systemic abuse of bulls. PETA India’s eyewitnesses observed that animals were deprived of food, water, and shade and were roughly yanked by nose ropes, causing their noses to bleed. Participants physically abused the animals to force them to run – even when exhausted – including by biting and twisting their tails, striking them, and rubbing irritants into their mouths.

 

Then, a whistle-blower provided PETA India with a video revealing that bull owners administered electric shocks with a live wire to bulls and twisted, broke, and chewed their tails to force them to run in a race.

 

It is a huge step backwards to allow bull cart races in Maharashtra again. You can help bulls by sending a message to the chief minister of the state, expressing your concerns and requesting that he repeal the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Maharashtra Amendment) Act, 2017.

Please use our suggested tweet to write to Uddhav Thackeray, the chief minister of Maharashtra, and sign the petition below. The compiled signatures will be delivered to him.

 

Appeal:

Bull Cart Races Hurt Bulls

Dear Chief Minister:

I was troubled to learn that the Honourable Supreme Court of India has allowed bull cart racing in Maharashtra since the state government passed an amendment to The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, to permit bull cart races in the state. Overwhelming evidence has shown that such events traumatise bulls, which goes against our nation’s central animal-protection legislation, Maharashtra’s commitment to protecting cows and their young, and India’s global image as a country that is kind to cattle.

The Honourable Supreme Court banned bull cart races on 7 May 2014 for good reason: cruelty is inherent in bull cart racing, as the animals are deliberately agitated, roughly pulled by painful nose ropes, and beaten with nail-studded sticks and their tails are twisted and bitten to force them to race.

Legalising bull cart races goes against the Constitution of India’s mandate of compassion for animals and apparently contravenes other statutes, such as Section 119 of the Bombay Police Act, 1951. It is also apparently counter to the spirit of the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, 1995, as harming animals is not limited to killing them but rather includes all forms of cruelty, such as causing the physical and psychological suffering that is inherent in bull cart races.

I hope the Maharashtra government will repeal the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Maharashtra Amendment) Act, 2017, and thereby spare bulls immense suffering in bull cart races.

Sincerely,

[Your Signature]

 

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