Assembly passes bill, bull-taming sport jallikattu now legal in Tamil Nadu

Chennai: Amid continuing protests over jallikattu across the state, Tamil Nadu Assembly today unanimously passed an amendment bill for conducting the bull taming sport without any hindrance.

Replacing an ordinance promulgated two days ago to allow jallikattu, the Bill to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 was unanimously adopted by the House after members of all parties spoke welcoming the legislative initiative.

The "Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment), Act, 2017" was piloted by Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and adopted by voice vote.

It was deemed to have come into effect on the day the ordinance was issued, January 21, 2017.

The government had promulgated the ordinance in a bid to defuse the raging protests across the state, especially at the Marina Beach, by students and others, demanding lifting of the ban on jallikattu.

The Bill defines jallikattu as an event involving bulls conducted with a view to following tradition and culture from January to May and it includes similar events like 'manjuviratu', 'vadamadu' and 'erudhuvidum' festivals.

It noted that the Supreme Court had held jallikattu as violative of the PCA Act (sections 3, 11, and 22).

The Bill further said, considering the vital role of jallikattu in preserving and promoting tradition and culture among people and also in view of ensuring the survival and continuance of native breeds of bulls, the "Government of Tamil Nadu has decided to exempt jallikattu from the provisions of the PCA Act".

Paneerselvam explained the legal and factual background that necessitated the amendment bill.

Leader of Opposition in Assembly M K Stalin was among those who spoke welcoming the Bill.