Karnataka Minister UT Khader wants no ban against buffalo racing

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Mangalore, Dec 7: The Dakshina Kannada and Udupi Kambala Committees had pleaded before the Karnataka High Court to grant permission to organize the annual 'Kambala' events, but the state authorities said making buffaloes run in 'Kambala' amounted to cruelty.

Karnataka Health and Family Welfare Minister U T Khader said he, along with other legislators from the coastal districts, would ensure that the Supreme Court ban is not applied to buffalo racing.

The Dakshina Kannada and Udupi Kambala Committees had pleaded before the Karnataka High Court to grant permission to organise the annual 'Kambala' events but the state authorities said 'making buffaloes run' in 'Kambala' amounted to 'cruelty'.

The organisers said 'violence on animals' is not practised in the region and so many 'modifications' have taken place in the recent past to make the event 'animal friendly'.

The district authorities contend that beating buffaloes also 'violated' provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, claiming that buffaloes run because of the 'fear of being beaten'.

'Kambala' is not a religious or traditional event.

Even if it is traditional, the PCA Act prevents such practices as 'unnecessary pain' to the animal which amounts to cruelty, the authorities say.

Meanwhile, Justice S Abdul Nazeer of the Karnataka High Court, who heard the committees' petition, has issued notices to the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and the Union government seeking 'clarification on the matter'.

Karnataka Health Minister UT Khader

The Karnataka government told the high court recently that buffaloes are not 'anatomically structured' to run and making them run amounts to cruelty. The state authorities made the plea while opposing the plea by the Dakshina Kannada and Udupi Kambala Committees seeking permission to organise annual Kambala events.

A ray of hope has, however, emerged on the resumption of the sport following the Centre's plan to grant permission for such sporting activities involving animals.

With pressure from various states to grant permission to traditional sporting activities such as 'Jallikattu' and 'Kambala', Union Minister for Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar had on Saturday said in New Delhi that animals should not be tortured under the 'pretext of sporting activity'.

The government is considering granting permission if this condition is met.


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