Animal rights organisation People For Animals (PFA) has urged the Maharashtra government to stop the illegal bullock cart races and bull fights which it claimed are still taking place despite the recent order of the Supreme Court. In a letter dated January 24 to the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, PFA said, “Supreme Court recorded the stand of the State of Maharashtra that bullock cart races have no cultural, historical or religious significance. In the circumstances, bullock cart races in Maharashtra are not permitted under the terms of the MOEF Notification of 7 January 2016.”
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court stayed the Union Government’s notification which amended the rules to allow Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu and bullock cart races elsewhere. Against this backdrop, the letter says that bullock cart races and other such events violate the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. PFA has received information that bullock cart races or bull fights are still being organised in Maharashtra, says the letter sent by advocate Siddhvidya on behalf of PFA.
“The Supreme Court has stated that if the provisions of the Act and the directions are not complied with, disciplinary action is to be taken by the Government against the erring officials,” the letter adds. PFA has also enclosed a list of places where bullock cart races are organised. “We fear that the continuation of the illegality of bullock cart races may not have come to the notice of the administration, hence we have requested the CM to issue instructions to concerned authorities clarifying that such races should be prevented,” advocate Siddhvidya said.
PFA has sent a copy of the letter to the Union Minister Maneka Gandhi too.