Advani, Manmohan against bull-fights, says animal rights NGO

Panaji, Jan 21 (IANS) While a legislative committee in BJP-ruled Goa looks at ways to legalise bull-fighting, the party’s senior leader L.K. Advani seems to have favoured continuation of the ban on the blood sport.

A statement issued on Thursday by the India chapter of the Humane Society International (HSI) claimed that its fight against legalisation of bullfighting in Goa had secured the endorsement of former deputy prime minister L.K. Advani and former prime minister Manmohan Singh.

The statement by the animal protection organisation includes a letter written by Advani’s office in December to the Union agriculture ministry, requesting “appropriate action” with regards to HSI’s request “that the Goa government should be prohibited to legalise this illegal practice”.

HSI also made public a letter Manmohan Singh wrote to it on December 15, saying that “we need to work to discourage bullfights which provide a cruel form of entertainment”.

A typical bullfight involves two specially reared bulls made to head-butt each other until one scampers away from the ring, which is lined by thousands of baying spectators and gamblers who bet money on their favourite animal.

The fights were banned in Goa on an order of the high court in the late 1990s.

However, following demands from MLAs belonging to various parties, the BJP-led coalition government in the state had formed in August last year a legislative committee to examine ways to legalise the sport.

“Since 2015, HSI has been closely working with animal welfare organisations, volunteers and supporters to end the move to legalize bullfighting in Goa,” the HSI statement said.

HSI received the support of thousands of online and offline signatures for a petition and postcards from the general public and students urging the government not to support the cruel practice, it said.

Support was also enlisted from Alliance Anticorrida, a French anti-bullfighting alliance, added the statement.

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