India's Supreme Court on Tuesday banned the current year's bull fighting ritual at a harvest festival in southern India following protests from animal rights groups.
The court also asked the Environment Ministry to respond to petitions from several animal rights groups that have campaigned to have the sport of Jallikattu permanently outlawed.
Jallikattu takes place in Tamil Nadu state during the harvest festival of Pongal. Thousands of men chase the bulls to get prizes tied to their horns. Animal rights groups say the animals are terrified and are often deliberately disoriented with alcohol, and are wounded with knives and sticks as they are dragged to the ground.
The Supreme Court banned the sport in 2014, but the Environment Ministry issued an order allowing it this year. Activists say the government tried to subvert the court ban because the sport evokes deep emotions in Tamil Nadu and the state is holding elections this year. Any political group seen as opposed to the sport is likely to face an electoral backlash, according to AP. - Idrak