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The need to ban Animal Sports: Illegality of Bullock Races in India (Part I)

By Sakshi Pawar (Co-Founder and Managing Editor at KhelAdhikar)

“The question is not, Can they reason?, nor Can they talk? but, Can they suffer? Why should the law refuse its protection to any sensitive being?” – Bentham

In 2014, the Supreme Court of India delivered the judgement of AWBI v A. Nagaraja which banned all bullock races in India on account of cruelty towards animals. The judgment left no stone unturned to ensure “Species Best Interest” and laid down the very fundamentals of animal rights jurisprudence in India. Despite its ironclad judgment which struck down all legislation permitting bullock races, states such as Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Karnataka have enacted unconstitutional laws in an attempt to continue this traditional sport. This article by Sakshi Pawar which analyses the illegality of these races (the judgement and their subsequent questionable legalisation), is one in a three-part series which advocates the banning of cruelty in animal sports all across the world.

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