By Neha Khanna, INN, @azaad_panchhii, Delhi ;
The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has urged the State government to comply with the new regulations to conduct jallikattu. The Board clarified that its aim is not to hurt the cultural sentiments of people, but to prevent cruelty towards animals.
The Board has framed a complete set of guidelines for conducting the events to prevent infliction of cruelty and unnecessary pain or any suffering of the bulls.
“The AWBI has formed an inspection team consisting of six members including Director of Animal Husbandry in Tamil Nadu to observe the jallikattu events. The inspecting team is directed for the strict compliance with the guidelines and asked to submit details of action taken report along with photographs and videography said SP Gupta, Chairman of AWBI.
He further said that “the DHT has been requested to nominate representatives to work with AWBI team.The inspection team has been requested to contact the concerned district collectors to coordinate the inspection where the event is proposed to organize.”
The board allows the participation of bulls registered with the board only who shall undergo medical tests to grant fitness and suitability of bulls for the event, while joint director of animal husbandry shall requisition the services of the experts from the nearby dispensaries also.
Gupta also said that the Board urged the Tamil Nadu government to issue a circular to the authorities concerned, wherever jallikattu is to be organized, asking them to take the necessary precautionary measures. The Board has requested the government to issue district- wise notification and a copy of notification has to be forwarded to AWBI in advance for further necessary action. The details of the venues must be sent to the Board so that its nominees could be sent there for inspection.
GUIDELINES FOR CONDUCTING JALLIKATTU EVENT
- Jallikattu event involving bulls will be conducted in such places, as notified by the State Government in Tamil Nadu.
- It is stated that the Government of Tamil Nadu has enacted Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act, 2017 and Tamil Nadu Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Conduct of Jallikattu) Rules, 2017 which allows the conduct of Jallikattu. As per Rule 3 of the Tamil Nadu Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Conduct of Jallikattu) Rules, 2017, it specifies in detail about the procedure for conduct of Jallikattu and in addition to this, the Board is issuing the following guidelines along with the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India as given below:
- The Collectors of the districts in Tamil Nadu shall ensure that the animals performing in the Jallikatu and related events are registered in accordance with Chapter V of the 1960 Act, and the rules there under and the requirements of the said Act are fulfilled.
- The Collectors shall ensure that the conditions imposed in regard to the exhibition and participation of the animals shall be implemented and followed by the persons organising the events and the owners of the registered animals.
- In view of the fact that the respective Collectors will have the information about the Jallikatu and other events at least one month prior to the actual events, the Collectors shall notify the Chennai Chapter of Animal Welfare Board of India, (under acknowledgement), about the events to enable the Animal Welfare Board to depute its representatives/animal inspectors/volunteers to be observers for the events.
- Double-barricading of the arena or the way through which the bulls pass through in order to avoid injuries to the spectators and by-standers who can be permitted to remain within the barricades;
- Fixing up of gallery for the spectators to sit and watch the proceedings. The gallery should be made with strong sticks to permit occupation;
- The number of occupants in the Gallery should not exceed the limit prescribed by Public Works Department to avoid collapsing of the gallery. A safety certificate should be obtained from the local Public Works Department authorities;
- The persons who wish to bring their bulls should obtain prior permission and the organizers shall see that the bulls are put to proper testing by Animal Husbandry authorities to ensure that performance enhancement drugs are not administered to the bulls in any form. The authorities should also ensure issuance of certificate about the relative strength of the bulls from the Animal Husbandry Department officials. The Joint Director of Animal Husbandry shall requisition the services of the experts from the nearby dispensaries also. The animal selected should also be put to Nicotine Test, Cocaine Test before a certificate of suitability of the bulls to participate in the event is issued by the authorities;
- The participants in the event should also enroll their names in advance to the revenue authorities. They should also be put to thorough check up by the Physicians available in the medical team and only after their certification about the suitability of the individuals; they should be allowed to participate in the event.
- Full fledged medical facility should be made available near the Area so that quick and immediate attention can be given to the injured participants. A mobile hospital and an ambulance with necessary life saving drugs must be kept ready to rush the injured to the Major hospitals, if warranted. The potency of the drugs must be ensured and got certified by Medial Officer of local Government Hospital. Taking expired tablets and drugs must be strictly avoided. Availability of Ambulances nearer the arena must be ensured. It sufficient ambulances are not available with the Government. Private ambulances must be secured and kept ready to meet emergent contingencies during the event.
- Potable drinking water supply as well as sanitation facilities should be ensured by the local bodies (i.e.Village Panchayat and Block Panchayat) in the village where the event is scheduled.
- As exclusive dress for the participation can also be thought of both for the sake of identification and to provide a charm to the heroic game. At Alanganallur, yellow color bananas were supplied free of cost to the participants which made identification of participants easy.
- A Deputy Collector level Officer can be nominated to look after each item of event management like checking up of bulls, checking up of participants, checking up the barricading and gallery arrangements, medical facilities, water supply and sanitary arrangements etc.
- Police Department should work out a band bust scheme and an Executive Magistrate is attached to the Special Police team.
- A preliminary meeting can be held with the organizers and the Participants’ at least one day before the date of event and rules are thoroughly explained to them. The rules can be framed in Tamil in a Phamplate-format and distributed to create better awareness.
- Two co-ordination meetings of Officials can be held by the District Collector along with the Superintendent of Police first by preliminary arrangements and the second one 5 days before the event.
- During the event one day insurance which is already in practice should be made compulsory for the bulls, bullocks, bull owners, participants.
- ID cards can be issued by the local organizations or temple trustees
- Bull calves below the age of 3 & above the age of 15 shall not be eligible to participate in the event.
- The Vadivasal (the entrance) should be 12×15 feet.
- The event should be from 9am to 5pm.
- State Govt. and District Administration will ensure that above guidelines are strictly followed. It will also be ensured that the inspection team of the AWBI having one representative from Animal Husbandry Department is fully associated and cooperated by the District administration for proper and smooth monitoring of the event.
- The following persons are authorized for the Inspection and the authorized team will inspect the events based on the prior intimation received from the State/District Authorities:
1) Dr. S.K. Mittal, LLM, Dh.D.(Animal Safety) USA , Ex- Member- AWBI,Mysore, Convener / In–charge of Team
2) A representative of the Animal Husbandry Dpt. of concerned dt. Member
3) Ms. Gohar Aziz, Founder,BharatiyaPraniMithraSangha, Chennai Member
4) ShriVinod Jain, Chennai Member
5) Shri Dinesh Baba, PASC Member, AWBI Member
6) ShriShravan Krishnan, PASC member, AWBI Member
7) ShriSiddharath, Chennai Member
8) ShriPrakash Sasha Member
9) Shri Antony Rubin, Ex- PASC Member, AWBI Member
10) Dr. V. Valliappan, PraniMithran,Madurai Member
Jallikattu is usually held during the harvest festival of Pongal in mid-January, but could not be organized in the past three years in view of the ban on the sport.
The ban resulted in protests across the state, following which the state assembly on January 23, 2017, unanimously passed an amendment bill, clearing the path for the conduct of the sport.