Hema Malini demands ban on Jallikattu

New Delhi, July 01: Actress-turned-politician Hema Malini today joined animal lovers in demanding a ban on ”jallikattu”, a bull-taming sport played in Tamil Nadu during Pongal celebrations, saying it violates the spirit of the law against torturing animals.

The Rajya Sabha MP wrote to Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh in this regard and urged him to make a “hugely positive impact for bulls by taking steps” to put an end to the sport.

The BJP MP said ”jallukattu” violates the spirit of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 which prohibits beating animals, kicking them and causing them unnecessary pain or suffering.

“People expect our officials to uphold meaningful animal welfare standards and to protect citizens,” she said in the letter.

“Bulls in ”jallikattu” are terrorised for entertainment. They are surrounded by screaming crowds, jumped on, pushed, hit, teased and wrestled to the ground…investigations at ”jallikattu” events show that bulls are pulled roughly by nose rings, punched, pummeled, hit with sharp sticks and crammed into trucks so tightly that they can barely move,” she said.

According to an estimate of NGO People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), 200 people have died over the past two decades during ”jallikattu”. In January 2011, two persons were killed and 215 others injured during the event.