Javadekar sent legal notice on bullock cart races

Agra : Union Minister of state for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar has been sent a legal notice by an animal rights activist over the proposed permission to hold bullock cart races.

Animal rights activist Naresh Kadian has served a legal notice to the union minister for the proposed permission for “Bullock Cart Races” in violation of the Supreme Court’s directives in the civil appeals No.5387 and 5391 of 2014.

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Kadian has reminded the minister that the central government, through his ministry, had issued a notification July 11, 2011, introducing the “bull” in the list of animals that shall not be exhibited or trained as performing animals.

Thereafter, the Maharashtra government had issued a notification Aug 24, 2011, banning bullock cart races in the state in view of the notification dated July 11, 2011.

Javadekar recently indicated in a press conference that he was open to discussion and granting permission for bullock cart races in Maharashtra, ignoring the Supreme Court’s rulings.

Kadian told IANS that after the Supreme Court judgment, all the issues relating to bullock cart races/Jalikattu are settled and there is no scope for any doubt.

In his notice to Javadekar, Kadian has said that bullock cart races (cruelty to animals through such races) were curtailed to a great extent after the apex court’s judgment.

“Your statement made before the media has resulted in great chaos. The people in the country, especially in Maharashtra, have presumed your word to be final and started organising the races…,” Kadi9an said.

Kadian has appealed to the minister to clarify that his Dec 4 statement should not be construed as a permission for bullock cart races and that the races remain banned.

The Supreme Court in its detailed judgment May 7, 2014, in the related cases concluded that the bulls do not run themselves but they are made to run in bullock cart races, meaning they are subjected to unnecessary pain and suffering. This also means that bullock cart races are, by themselves, cruel to bull since bulls are forced to perform by inflicting pain and suffering on them.

The judgment said the animals have a legal right not be subjected to cruelty under Sections 3 and 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, and it is the duty of humans under Article 51A (g) of the Constitution not to subject animals to cruelty.

The apex court also ruled that Jalikattu or bullock cart races in Tamil Nadu are not a part of tradition or culture, and such acts are cruel, barbaric, inhuman, and savage and must be prohibited.