Artificially breeding cattle is cruel: Madras HC

“Artificial insemination deprives bulls and cows of the pleasure of mating which they are entitled to naturally.
For representational purposes (Photo | PTI)
For representational purposes (Photo | PTI)

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court observed that artificial insemination deprives bulls and cows the pleasure of mating which they are entitled to naturally, and that it amounts to cruelty under the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

“It is appropriate to use bulls for the purpose of cattle breeding in a natural way which would protect their rights, otherwise cows would be used as manufacturing machines,” the court observed, in an order dated August 19.

The division bench comprising Justices N Kirubakaran and P Velmurugan made the observations while disposing of a writ petition filed against engaging non-native breeds of bulls in jallikattu events. “Artificial insemination deprives bulls and cows of the pleasure of mating which they are entitled to naturally. Reproduction by natural process is a basic biological need which cannot be interfered with,” the court said.
Hence, denying and depriving the right to copulate amounts to “cruelty” to animals under the Act.

On the original plea, the court ruled that permitting imported bulls in jallikattu is against the spirit of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act, 2017, which is enacted to preserve and to ensure the survival and continuance of native breeds of bulls.

‘Clinging on to cross-bred bulls a challenge for tamers’

R Vijayakumar, Additional Government Pleader, said bulls owned by farmers may be of any breed and preservation of native-breed bulls cannot be construed to mean that only native breeds can participate in jallikattu events. He added jallikattu events cannot exclusively be for native breeds. Permitting cross-bred bulls is not illegal as per the Amendment Act of 2017. 

Rejecting his submissions, the court said when the Act only speaks about native bulls, it’s deemed that the other bulls are prohibited from participating in it. E Seshan of Thuraipakkam in Chennai, in his petition, alleged that western varieties of cattle (Bos Taurus) and cross breeds of cattle that do not have humps or have tiny hump are allowed to participate in jallikattu. "It is impossible for the jallikattu participants to catch and cling on to the hump of the animals as cross variety bulls have huge body with very tiny humps."

"While the very purpose of the Amendment Act is only to preserve native breeds of cattle, allowing cross breed of bulls is unlawful," said the counsel. Concurring with the petitioner's view, the bench said the participants shall be permitted to only embrace the bulls by their hump and run for 15 metres, or for 30 seconds, or sustain three jumps of the bull. "Native breeds alone have hump, which is a necessity for a bull to participate," the judges noted.

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