Goa MP wants bullfighting ban lifted

A Correspondent in Delhi | February 13, 2009 20:32 IST

Congress member of Parliament Francisco Sardinha on Friday moved a private member's Bill in the Lok Sabha to revoke the ban on bullfights, asserting that these festivities form part of a tradition going back centuries.

South Goa [Images] MP Sardinha sought a series of amendments in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960 to ensure these bull fights are regulated and the animals are protected from suffering any injuries.

The Bill is basically aimed at removal of the ban on Dhirio, a kind of bullfight or a game for trial of strength which is a part of the traditional festivity in the Goan villages during the monsoon, that was forced by the animal lovers in the state by invoking the Act on the ground that the animals were subjected to cruelty in this kind of game.

In the statement of objects and reasons for moving the amendment bill, Sardinha says the bullfights are part of festivities in certain parts of the country, including Tamil Nadu and Goa but the same cannot take place because of the restrictions laid down under the Act.

"People in the villages of Goa are agitating over restrictions on events like Dhirio during festivities," says Sadrdinha, stating that the proposed amendment Bill seeks to exempt the events like Dhirio from the purview of the act to enable the people to organise such traditional events after taking due permission from the district magistrate.

To ensure no cruelty is inflicted on the animals, one of the amendments in his Bill says it shall be the duty of every person organising a Dhirio to ensure that the horns of the bulls are sufficiently covered so as to prevent any injury and wherever possible, a thin sheath covering shall be used to protect the body of the animal from any injury.

In his election campaign, Sardinha, a former chief minister, had promised the villagers that he would get the law amended to restore their right to organise these bullfights.

Sardinha was lucky to get the Bill introduced as just thereafter the Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day for want of quorum. It is another matter that his Bill serves no purpose as this is the last session of the 14th Lok Sabha and all pending Bills collapse on the constitution of the new House.