Karnataka Assembly has passed Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill, 2017 to allow kambala, the traditional buffalo race and bullock-cart racing.
The bill seeks to exempt kambala and bullock-cart racing from the ambit of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960. Governor Vajubhai R. Vala may refer the Bill to President for his assent as it amends central law.
What is the issue?
In November 2016, the Karnataka high court had banned the kambala along with bull-cart race in the state while hearing a case filed by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) citing animal cruelty. The high court had stayed these traditional sports in view of the Supreme Court’s ban on jallikattu, a traditional bull taming sport of Tamil Nadu.
- Kambala is an annual traditional Buffalo Race (he-buffalo) held in coastal districts of Karnataka to entertain rural people of the area.
- Slushy/marshy paddy field track is used for Kambala. The sports season generally starts in November and lasts till March.
- The contest generally takes place between two pairs of buffaloes, each pair race in two separate wet rice fields tracks, controlled by a whip-lashing farmer.
- In the traditional form of Kambala, buffalo racing is non-competitive and he-buffalo pairs run one by one in paddy fields.
- There is also ritualistic approach as some agriculturists race their he-buffaloes for thanks giving to god for protecting their animals from diseases. But in recent times, Kambala has become an organised rural sport.