Mangaluru, July 04, 2017: Reports are rife that The President of India, on July 3, Monday has endorsed his assent to the promulgation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, paving the way for conducting Kambala and bullock-cart races in Karnataka.
“In pursuance of the proviso to clause (1) of article 213 of the Constitution of India, the President of India hereby approves the promulgation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 by the Governor of Karnataka,” an order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs said.
Following protests by the public and Kambala organisers in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts, the Karnataka Assembly on February 13 passed the bill to exempt Kambala and bullock-cart racing from the ambit of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
Though the Karnataka government sent the bill for the President’s assent, it was returned, suggesting modifications. Following this, the state government modified the bill and issued an ordinance, since the Karnataka Legislative Assembly was not in session. It was then forwarded to the President again.
The new legislation only permits those events in which animals are not subjected to “unnecessary pain” and suffering. The bill also says that the sport is vital to “preserving and promoting traditions and culture among the people in the state”.
Kambala (traditional slush track buffalo racing) and bullock-cart racing were barred in Karnataka after animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals filed a petition against the practice.
In its verdict, the Karnataka High Court had observed, “All animals are not anatomically designed to be performing animals... Unavoidable activities causing pain and suffering to animals must be avoided.”
The state will now have to pass a fresh amendment bill in the legislature and send it to the President for assent.