People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) have described the passing of a bill in the Legislative Assembly to legalise Kambala (the traditional buffalo race in coastal Karnataka) as “shameful”.
“Allowing this cruelty to animals is a shameful black mark on our nation,” Poorva Joshipura, CEO, Peta India, said.
“A total of 65 non-cognisable offence complaints and one FIR were filed at just three events inspected by the government body Animal Welfare Board of India during Kambala events in 2014 and 2015,” she added.
She said inspection reports contained scientific assessment of the welfare of buffaloes when they were forced to participate in such events, including photographic evidence and a description of different forms of cruelty inflicted on the animals, such as being subjected to verbal abuse and physical force – including shouting, hitting with hands, slapping on the face, violent pulling of thick nose ropes, rough handling by pushing and pulling the animal, overpowering, tail pulling and restricting the movement of the head using a wooden pole tied to the horns.
Many of the buffaloes observed frothed at the mouth, salivated heavily and displayed increased respiration rates, demonstrating that they are anatomically unfit to be forced to take part.