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India’s animal rights activists forced to “lie low”

BBC: ‘The failed campaign to ban bull taming in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu has dented support for the animal rights movement and forced local activists to lie low out of fear, as Swaminathan Natarajan reports from Madurai. So-called Jallikattu contests have been popular in this region for centuries but were banned by the Supreme Court in 2014 after objections from animal rights groups.

Mass protests in support of the contests in January led to a new law overturning the ban. In the year since then Jallikattu has restarted in many places in and around the temple town of Madurai, but the fall-out from the ban means that formerly welcoming villagers are now reluctant and sometimes even afraid to talk to strangers. They say clandestine filming and selective editing by animal rights groups has given them a bad name. People carrying cameras are stopped and asked the purpose of their visit…

But Peta, the animal rights group, wants the Jallikattu ban restored. Nikunj Sharma, Peta India’s head of public policy, says: “Cruelty to animals and disregard for human life and safety is inherent in Jallikattu.” As evidence, he points to video filmed earlier this year showing participants beating bulls and even allegedly biting their tails. “Just as there can never be a middle ground that allows child abuse, there is no such thing as an acceptable level of causing unnecessary suffering to animals”.’ SOURCE…


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