Karnataka Law Minister TB Jayachandra on Monday said that the state government was ready with a Bill to revoke the ban on buffalo-racing sport kambala. “The Bill is ready and will be introduced in the legislature in a day or two,” he told ANI.
Buoyed by the pro-jallikattu protests in Tamil Nadu, scores of people across Karnataka launched agitations against the ban on kambala. The buffalo-racing sport is held in the state’s coastal regions and has great popularity in Dakshina Kannada. Apart from demanding the reinstitution of the sport, protestors also was animal rights group People for the Ethical Treat of Animals banned.
“They [PETA] should know that there is no cruel treatment meted out to bovines during the sport,” Dakshina Kannada MP NK Kateel had said. “We should all join hands and intensify our protest until the ban on kambala is lifted.”
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has expressed his support to bring back kambala a number of times. He has said his Congress government would bring in a new legislation to legalise the sport, if required. Jayachandra had earlier said that a Bill to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, to legalise kambala would be introduced in the Karnataka Assembly.
“The Cabinet has decided to move a draft Bill in the legislature session scheduled from February 6 to February 10. It will allow kambala and bullock-cart racing, which will be enabled by amending the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, and therefore, considered a normal traditional sport,” Jayachandra had said on Saturday, according to The Indian Express.
Buffalo racing was barred in Karnataka after PETA filed a petition against the practice. In its verdict, the Karnataka 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.” On January 30, the high court said it will look into a petition challenging the ban on kambala only after the Supreme Court pronounces its verdict on Tamil Nadus bull-taming sport jallikattu.