President Pranab Mukherjee approves ordinance allowing Kambala in Karnataka
In November 2016, the Karnataka High Court banned kambala along with bull-cart race in the state while hearing a case filed by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
President Pranab Mukherjee on 4 July 2017 approved the promulgation of The Prevention of cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 to legalise Kambala in Karnataka. Kambala is the folk sport involving the bullock cart race.
The ordinance also calls to exempt bulls from The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
In November 2016, the Karnataka High Court banned 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.
However, following the protests by people and kambala organisers, Karnataka Assembly passed an ordinance Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill, 2017 in February 2017 to allow Kambala.
In June 2017, the Union Ministry of Law and Justice cleared the bill with an aim to legalise Kambala.
• Kambala is the traditional buffalo race that is held annually in coastal districts of Karnataka to entertain rural people of the area.
• The race generally starts in November and lasts till March every year.
• The race takes place between two pairs of buffaloes, each pair races in two separate wet rice fields tracks controlled by a whip-lashing farmer.
• In the traditional form of Kambala, buffalo racing was non-competitive and buffalo pairs ran one by one in paddy fields. But in recent times, Kambala has become an organised rural sport.