The letter, addressed to Chief Minister MK Stalin and Health, Medical Education and Family Welfare Minister Ma Subramanian, noted that potential super-spreader glasses pose a serious health risk to the public.
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“In order to prevent the rapid spread of Covid-19 and to protect public health as well as to reduce the pressure on healthcare professionals, it is essential to ban unnecessary activities such as the Jallikattu event, which leads to unnecessary public gatherings,” he said. Deepshikha Chandrabangshi, a doctor who signed the letter. According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, the request comes in the wake of several countries around the world imposing new safety guidelines in response to the growing COVID-19 cases and threats to the Omicron variant.
“There is no place for an unnecessary event like Jallikattu that is fighting a deadly contagious virus in the country,” said PETA India CEO Manilal Valliate. “Peta India has called on the authorities to pay close attention to the professional opinion of these doctors and to stop the Jallikattu event to protect the bulls from cruelty and the public from a deadly disease.”
Since the Tamil Nadu government legalized Jallikattu in 2017, at least 22 bulls and 69 people have been reported dead, and more than 4,696 injured, PETA India said in a statement.
Animal rights organizations have documented extreme cruelty to bulls during these events, with thousands of people in attendance. Video footage of the 2021 event shows the number of unmasked people in close proximity, suitable conditions for the spread of the Covid-19, especially the easily transmissible Omicron variant.
PETA India claims that it has extensive video footage showing that during Jallikattu, participants forced panicked bulls into the field by biting their tails, shaking their nostrils and shaking them with weapons. Panicked bulls often hit people and barricades, often breaking their bones or dying, the statement said.
Jallikattu is held in January every year as part of the Pongal celebrations in Tamil Nadu. In the traditional event, a bull is let go, and people try to grab it and hang on as they try to escape.
It was banned several times but is being organized after an ordinance was introduced in 2017.
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