Nashik: Several actors and cricket stars, including John Abraham, Vidya Balan, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan, have signed People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), India's new petition urging the government to uphold the ban on jallikattu, bull races and bullfights.
Actors Sonakshi Sinha, Jacqueline Fernandez, Bipasha Basu, Raveena Tandon-Thadani, Vidyut Jammwal, Shilpa Shetty Kundra, Kapil Sharma, Amy Jackson, Athiya Shetty, Sonu Sood and Richa Chadha have also signed the petition.
"The petition comes in the wake of repeated announcements made by Prakash Javadekar, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, about his intention to allow jallikattu and other cruel uses of bulls by removing bulls from the list of animals, who cannot be made to perform, despite a 2014 Supreme Court ruling confirming the ban," a PETA release said on Tuesday.
During jallikattu, terrified bulls are deliberately disoriented, chased, jumped on and dragged to the ground. Often, they become so panicked that they break their bones or die trying to flee from human participants. Numerous people, including spectators, have died or been seriously injured at jallikattu events by bulls, who are intentionally frightened as part of the game, it added.
"How can the same officials, who are in favour of protecting cows be planning to overturn a ban that would allow tremendous abuse of the sons of cows?" asked PETA India chief executive officer Poorva Joshipura.
"PETA India, with the help of many high-profile supporters and members of the caring public, is urging the minister to avoid taking a tremendous step backwards by upholding the existing ban on jallikattu, bullfights, bull races and other cruel uses of bulls for performances. During races, bulls are often hit with nail-studded sticks and pushed beyond the point of exhaustion," the release said.
In bullfights, which often occur in Goa, a round ends when one of the bulls either is killed or manages to flee, it said.
According to the PETA release, the Supreme Court had passed a judgement in favour of PETA India and the Animal Welfare Board of India confirming a ban on jallikattu, bullfights and bull races.