Buoyed by the pro-jallikattu protests in Tamil Nadu, scores of people across Karnataka launched agitations against the ban on kambala, a buffalo-racing sport held in the state’s coastal regions. Apart from demanding the reinstitution of the sport, the protestors, which included students and members of the state film industry, also demanded a ban on animal rights group People for the Ethical Treat of Animals, ANI reported.

Dakshina Kannada MP NK Kateel said kambala was a traditional sport for the Tulunad region, The Times of India reported. He also accused PETA of filing a petition against kambala “without understanding the difference” between the sport and Tamil Nadu’s jallikattu. “They should know that there is no cruel treatment meted out to bovines during the sport,” Kateel said. “We should all join hands and intensify our protest until the ban on kambala is lifted.”

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the Congress government in the state supported lifting the ban on buffalo races and would bring in a new legislation to legalise it, if required. On Wednesday, state Law Minister TB Jayachandra announced that a Bill seeking to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, to legalise kambala will be introduced in the Karnataka Assembly, The News Minute reported.

Groups in Dakshina Kannada have been demanding that the ban on kambala, imposed by the Karnataka High Court on November 22 last year, be revoked. Buffalo racing was barred after PETA filed a petition against the practice. In its verdict, the high court had observed: “All animals are not anatomically designed to be performing animals...Unavoidable activities causing pain and suffering to animals must be avoided.”