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AKIPRESS.COM - The Indian Supreme Court has banned a version of bull fighting which has been popular for centuries in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, BBC reported.
Jallikattu is an annual festival in which thousands of men chase the bulls to grab prizes tied to their horns.
The court said that use of bulls in the sport “severely harmed” the animals and was an offense under the Prevention of Cruelty to the Animals Act.
“This is a landmark victory for animals in India. Year after year, court guidelines or laws were violated during jallikattu and bull races, and countless bulls and people have suffered and even painfully died,” a spokesperson for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) told the Press Trust of India.
The Supreme Court had previously banned the practice in January 2008, but reversed its order four days later, saying the sport could be allowed if certain guidelines were followed.
The state government, which had appealed against the order, saying the ban hurt the sentiments of the people, assured the Supreme Court that it would follow the guidelines to make the sport safe.
Every year, dozens of people are injured and some are killed during the festival. Organizers say bullfighting is a sacrosanct Indian tradition, mentioned in ancient scriptures.