Actor John Abraham has fired off a letter on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, to the Minister of Environment and Forests, Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan, thanking her for the Ministry’s decision to ban the use of bulls as performing animals.
In 2011, the Ministry of the Environment and Forests (MoEF) issued a notification which banned the use of bulls as performing animals – thereby banning Jallikattu, a bull taming sport played in Tamil Nadu.
The ban was later challenged by organizers of Jallikattu in Madras high court and its verdict is expected to come on January 11. Even before the decision of the Madras high court, the Tamil Nadu government recently gave permission for Jallikattu to be held in Madurai.
Appreciating the step by MoEF, the actor in his letter, dated January 10, 2012, wrote that bulls are deliberately terrorized, hit and wrestled to the ground. “It has been reported that your Ministry is being pressured by a few Jallikattu supporters to allow it to continue. However, even if the ban on Jallikattu under the notification in The Gazette of India did not exist, the cruel treatment of animals during Jallikattu is still illegal under the PCA Act, 1960. On behalf of all compassionate Indian citizens, I am writing to request that your Ministry uphold our country’s laws and our constitutional requirement to show kindness to animals by instructing the Tamil Nadu government and police to crack down on Jallikattu events, which are now illegal,” the actor wrote.
It remains to be seen if the actor’s impassioned missive helps bring some relief to the bulls of Tamil Nadu.