The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to lift the ban it imposed on bull-taming sport jallikattu in Tamil Nadu a day ago. The apex court was hearing a petition filed by the organisers of the sport challenging its order.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court had stayed the Centre's notification allowing the sport to be played this year. The court accepted petitions from several animal rights groups calling for the practice to be banned, and has asked the government to respond to these pleas in four weeks' time. Until the matter is settled, jallikattu has been banned.

Jallikattu is traditionally played in Tamil Nadu during the pongal festival. It is one of the many animal-related practices that tend to go hand in hand with harvest festivals in many parts of the country.