Congress MP wants bull-fighting in Goa, PETA complains to Sonia

February 20th, 2009 - 7:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Feb 20 (IANS) People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has urged Congress president Sonia Gandhi to persuade her party MP Francisco Sardinha to withdraw his controversial bill moved in the Lok Sabha, seeking to allow bullfights in Goa.
Denouncing the South Goa MP’s move, the PETA in its letter to Gandhi Friday said that bullfighting is not only illegal but also “unforgiving and inhumane” to the animals. The letter was sent by PETA’s chief functionary Anuradha Sawhney.

“The private member’s bill, proposed by Francisco Sardinha, is in violation of Article 51-A (g) of the Fundamental Duties of the Constitution, which makes it a duty of every citizen to have compassion for living creatures,” Sawhney said.

“Presently, animal fights are in contravention of Section 11 (1) (m) (ii) and Section 11 (1) (n) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960,” she said.

Speaking to IANS, Sawhney hoped that Gandhi would persuade Sardinha to drop his controversial bill. “If the letter does not work, we will carry out a campaign in South Goa (Sardinha’s parliamentary constituency), creating an awareness amongst the people about the cruelty involved in bull fighting,” Sawhney said.

On Feb 13, while moving the private member’s bill in the Lok Sabha, Sardinha said bullfights - or dhirio as they are locally called -were a part of Goan tradition and were a regular feature at festivities going back to centuries.

The MP sought a series of amendments to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, to legalise bullfighting. Sardinha also argued that bullfights continued to be an integral part of festivities in Tamil Nadu.

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