Panaji, Dec 10: An animal rights group today termed as "vote bank politics" the Goa government's purported move to "legalise" bullfighting, which it said is a profit-driven entertainment.
"Their entire move of forming a House Committee and creating hope in the minds of people of legalising the (bull) fights, is nothing but an attempt to get people in their side ahead of Assembly elections, scheduled in 2017," People for Animals (PFA) president Norma Alvares told reporters here.
Goa Legislative Assembly had formed a House panel to decide on the demand to legalise bullfights in the state. Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar had said that if bull fights are brought within proper purview of law, it can be a tourist attraction and can fetch good revenue for the farmers.
Alvares said the state government has no power to change the 'Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960' as it is a central law. She said bullfights, popularly known as 'dhirio', is "not an exhibition, game or a display of strength of the animal but it is organised for profit and for entertainment of those who come to watch and to bet on the outcome".
Other organisations like Humane Society International- India and Welfare for Animals (WFA) in Goa have accused Parsekar of encouraging illegal bullfights in state.
Alvares said the government should stop its "plan" to legalise bullfighting. "Bullfighting is illegal as per Supreme Court and the Bombay High Court (Goa bench) as it is prohibited by section 11(1)(m)(ii) and (n) the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act 1960.
In 1997, in response to the petition filed by the PFA against 'dhirio', the Goa bench of Bombay HC had banned bullfighting under the provisions of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Later, the Special leave Petition filed by the state was dismissed by the apex court.