India’s Supreme Court revokes ban on traditional bullock-cart race

New Delhi, Dec 16 (EFE).- The Supreme Court of India Thursday revoked the ban on traditional bullock-cart race in the western state of Maharashtra after a four-year impasse amid protests by animal rights groups.

The revocation came after the state government amended the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act in line with the neighboring Karnataka and Tamil Nadu states.

The top court heard a plea by the Maharashtra government, seeking permission to hold the traditional sporting event.

“We need to have uniformity and there has to be one rule. If the races are going on in other states, why should it not be allowed by Maharashtra,” the court said.

However, the top court said the constitution bench would check the validity of the amendments to the law by the state government.

Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil said the court granted “conditional permission” to organize the event.

“It is a matter of joy for all bullock cart race lovers. It is requested that all these races be conducted in strict compliance with the terms and conditions laid down by the state government,” he said in a video posted on Twitter.

The state high court had imposed a ban on holding sporting events with animals in Maharashtra in 2018.

The revocation of the ban has riled animal rights groups like PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) India.

The nonprofit said the top court order had pushed the country “back to dark ages.”

“You cannot force the bulls to race without harming the animal, without twisting and breaking their tails, and inducing fear,” Manilal Valliyate, CEO of PETA India, told EFE.

“PETA India will continue our efforts to bring relief to bulls suffering from cruel events.”


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