PANAJI: Bull fight may be a banned sport but Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar wants it to continue "within proper purview of law" without causing "cruelty" to the animals as it can fetch farmers money and attract tourists.
"If bull fights (dhirio) are brought within proper purview of law, it can be a tourist attraction. It can fetch good revenue for the farmers," Parsekar told reporters today, in remarks that can raise the hackles of animal rights activists.
Facing allegation of patronising bull fights, banned by the Bombay High Court in 1996, in his Mandrem constituency, Parsekar denied the charge but conceded it is a tradition there during Ganesh Chaturthi festival. The Union Environment and Forests Ministry had also banned use of bulls as performing animals in July 2011.
"Bull fights have always been traditional sports. Due to certain legalities, it ran into trouble. But the traditions cannot die away. We had discussed this issue on the floor of the House and a committee has been formed. I am waiting for the report from the committee," he said. He, however, wanted the sport to continue without "committing cruelty" to the animals.
"Several bull owners have been taking care of the animals without committing any cruelty to them. They are kept in a hygienic environment," he said.