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India Bans Bull Fights

July 27, 2007

NEW DELHI -- India's Supreme Court banned on Friday the annual bullfights and bull races held during harvest festivals in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

In past years, both the fighters and the especially muscular wild bulls would often be pepped up with large amounts of country liquor before dashing after each other in the streets to mark Pongal, the harvest festival celebrated every January.

But India's Animal Welfare Board successfully petitioned India's highest court to ban the ancient sport of jallikattu, saying it was cruel and not in keeping with what it described as the country's non-violent traditions.

Unlike the Spanish version of the sport, the aim is not to kill the bulls but to dominate and tame them, and pluck away bundles of money or other treats tied to their specially sharpened horns.

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