Satara District Collector N Ramaswami would now be looking in to the matter of the recently held bull races in Pusegaon and Phadtarwadi in Satara, where the animals were allegedly brutalised and forced to compete despite fractured limbs.
The races were held in February without acquiring necessary permission from the district administration. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) volunteers alleged that the bulls were deprived of food, water and shade, and were then forced to compete in the races.
PETA authorities have now decided to approach animal husbandry ministry to put and end to bull racing, as they alleged that the animal is brutalised under the name of tradition.
The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests in July 2011 banned the use of bulls as performing animals. But the Supreme Court on February 15 lifted the ban imposed on bullock cart races, but it imposed certain conditions to be adhered to by the event organisers.
The PETA volunteers said villagers were under the impression that the apex court had lifted the ban on organising bull races without any conditions. “I wasn’t aware about these two races conducted in Pusegaon and Phadtarwadi, as I was out of Satara in February. But if the bulls were abused during the race, then legal action would be taken against the people for organising an illegally event,” Ramaswami said.
A volunteer of Animal Rahat, who secretly shot the event, shared the horrible experience of villagers’ cruelty towards bulls during the race. “I have never seen such cruelty against an animal.
Even after one of the bulls collapsed and fractured one of his limbs, the farmers caned and twisted the animal’s tail and made him run for another kilometre,” the volunteer said. The volunteer added that people gathered to watch the race tried to beat him when they realised that the races were being shot.
Bull races are usually organised on special occasion like Maharashtra Day or Independence Day and for other festivals just for the sake of
entertainment. Apart from Maharashtra, such races are organised in Punjab and Tamil Nadu on a massive scale, wherein hundreds of animals are seriously injured.
“Some of the participants, who appeared to be drunk, were biting the animals’ tail to make them run faster. Some of them snatched our camera when they got suspicious about our activities,” the volunteer said.
“For the first time, we systematically gathered evidence against this cruel tradition and reports are already being sent to the Animal Husbandry Minister Madhukar Chavan for suitable action against people involved in this cruel tradition,” PETA Director of Veterinary Affairs Dr Manilal Valliyate said. PETA is now demanding a complete ban on the bull races in the country.