Jallikattu: cruel popular sport



In early 2019, observers attended seven jallikattu events in the following locations: Alanganallur, Avaniapuram, and Palamedu in Madurai district; Keelapanaiyur and Viralimalai in Pudukkottai district; Ulagampatti in Dindigul district; and Alagumalai in Tiruppur district.

The eyewitnesses confirmed that bulls are poked and jabbed with sticks and sickles, hit, jumped on, tackled, bitten, and otherwise mistreated.

Exhausted and dehydrated animals were forced to participate in jallikattu after standing in queues overnight – for as long as 16 hours – without adequate shelter or sufficient water or feed. They were yanked roughly by nose ropes, causing their nostrils to bleed, and many collapsed from exhaustion and dehydration after the events.



The mental and physical torture bulls are subjected to are in apparent direct violation of many regulations.

Nobody wants to kill the bull here, as is the case with the Spanish Corrida. Nevertheless, the animals suffer a lot. In order to make the bulls aggressive, they are sometimes given alcohol or rubbed with chilli in the eyes. Bulls have even been tortured with electric shocks to the testicles.


The well-known animal rights activist and politician Maneka Gandhi said: “The bulls are kept in dark rooms for weeks, they are given alcohol to drink and beaten. When released into an arena, dozens of drunken young men throw themselves at them and try to tear their horns away. Bulls are killed. People die”!



In 2014 the Jallikattu were banned by the Indian Supreme Court, at the request of animal rights activists. Two years ago, the state government reintroduced the tradition after thousands of people protested!! Things have changed, because under the pressure of the Tamil people from the same court it was canceled.

In January 2018, the AWBI issued guidelines for the conduct of jallikattu events and shared them with Tamil Nadu officials, advising them to share the guidelines in turn with authorities throughout the state.

Rules listed under the Tamil Nadu PCA (Conduct of Jallikattu) Rules, 2017, and the AWBI’s 2018 guidelines are brazenly violated.

Exacerbating the problem is the fact that none of the regulations hold jallikattu organisers or bull abusers suitably accountable or liable for punishment. This loophole in the legislation gives them a free pass to continue abusing bulls and putting humans in harm’s way.

The documented findings and evidence of abuse prove that no amount of regulation can prevent cruelty to bulls during jallikattu events.



The mental and physical torture bulls are subjected to are in apparent direct violation of many regulations.

Documented photographs by PETA India from Avaniapuram, Palamedu, Alanganallur, Thirunallur and Maravapatti show how brutal it was. The video shows how bulls are pulled by ropes in their noses until they bleed.

The organizers beat the animals, bite them and break their bones. And that’s just the part that happens outside the arena.



It’s not hard to see that bulls used for jallikattu don’t race for fun. The spectacle relies on physical and psychological abuse to instigate bulls – who are naturally nervous prey animals and not anatomically suited to running – to spar or race.

All one has to do is look at photographs or videos from jallikattu events to understand how vicious the practice is. Shouting mobs of participants beat, bite, and whip bulls so that the animals sprint to escape the violence – and spectators often hit them as they flee, too.

An explanation is given for this! – Indian bullfighting today also reflects the contrast between powerful landowners who breed the bulls and send them into battle, and poor peasant boys who, in this way, protest as fighters against the traditional social order.

At Jallikattu, bulls are let into an arena where people pounce on them to hold on and sit on them. It was only five years ago that the highest court in India banned this practice because it violated the Animal Welfare Act.
But in 2017, the state of Tamil Nadu decided to allow Jallikattu again, so it took place in several locations again in January.


Since the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act  2017 was passed, at least 43 humans (including 11 spectators), 14 bulls, and one cow have been killed during these events.

Deliberately tormenting bulls – who are nervous prey animals – is inhumane. During jallikattu events, participants poke and jab bulls with sticks and sickles and stab, hit, bite, jump on, and tackle them. Many bulls sustain broken bones and severe injuries, collapse from exhaustion and dehydration, and even die.


The Supreme Court recognises that using them for spectacles like jallikattu and races – forcing bulls to run for their lives by frightening and hurting them – is inherently cruel, and it rightfully upheld a ban on their use in performances in 2014.


Yet the torture and abuse continue to this day, despite a public outcry, animal protection laws, and the threat to both animal and human safety.

Now help us stop the cruelty to animals at Jallikattu. Sign the PETA India petition and tell everyone!



My Comment: I purposely posted the video (above) from the San Fermin bull rush in Pamplona. Because I immediately thought of this bull rush when I saw the video from India.

Terrifyingly similar! obviously globalization also exists in cruelty to animals.

It is not a tradition! it is the other word for cruel mass entertainment as we know it in many countries.

Anyone who tortures or murders animals in the name of tradition still lives on the trees, and this means at least half of the world’s population.

My best regards to all, Venus


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