13 killed, 350 injured in Indian bull events
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2005:
ALANGANALLUR–At least 13 people were killed and more than
350 injured during the third weekend in January 2005 at traditional
“Jallikattu” bullfights and bullrunning events held around Tamil Nadu
state, India, to celebrate Pongal, a Hindu holiday.
“Jallikattu is held at temples,” explained Justin Huggler of
the London Independent. “At the most famous, at Alanganallur, the
spectacle began with young men competing to grab a gold chain tied
around horns of the first bull.
“After that, 500 bulls were released into the crowd, as at
Pamplona,” in the most famous Spanish bullrunning event. “But in
Pamplona the crowd runs,” Huggler continued. “In Tamil Nadu they
compete with each other to try to bring the bulls under control.
“Unlike in Spanish bullfighting, the bulls are not killed.
It would be unacceptable for the competitors to kill or try to
inflict wounds on them. But this has not prevented animal rights
activists from objecting as there have been accidental deaths of
bulls over the years. The bulls are also said to be given alcohol
before the fight. It is highly probable that many of the competitors
are in a similar state.”
Either three or four men were reportedly killed at
Alanganallur, where more than 200 were injured, 50 seriously. Two
men were killed, and 64 were injured, three of them seriously, at
Seeravayal. The fates of the bulls were not reported.
Legal actions separately filed by the Visakha SPCA and PETA
apparently discouraged similar events in Andrha Pradesh and Assam,
Bullfights, bull runs, and ritual abandonment of bull
calves as temple offerings, a leading Visakha SPCA concern, all
serve to dispose of surplus bulls born as result of milk production.
India and the U.S. produce almost the same amount of milk per
year, but India births 35 million calves to get that volume, while
the U.S. births only nine million. The difference is partly because
U.S. cows are about three times as productive, on average, and
partly because U.S. dairy farmers make more use of embryo transplants
and sperm-sorting to ensure that only female calves are born to dairy