Just a day after Koti Chennaya Jodu Kare Kambala – the traditional slush-track buffalo race of coastal Karnataka – resumed in Moodbidri in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has claimed to have documented proof of harassment of buffaloes.
In a statement released on Sunday, the organisation – reportedly responsible for the death of around 2,000 domestic animals in it’s care in 2011 – said its ‘investigation’ has revealed that 100 buffaloes were were beaten, prodded with sticks, pulled with their tails and forced to participate in the event.
“Some buffaloes with bloody wounds were forced to participate in the race. Many buffaloes were frothing at the mouth and their respiration rates had increased at the end of the race,” the organisation said, according to The Hindu.
President of Dakshina Kannada-Udupi-Kasargod Kambala Committee, Barkur Shantaram Shetty, denied the allegations, saying there was not a single incident of harassment during the Kambala in Moodbidri.
PETA plans to place the ‘evidence’ it has collected before the Supreme Court. The court is hearing a petition questioning Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 passed by the state government. Shetty said that his own organisation’s documentation of the complete sequence of events in Kambala will be placed before the apex court.
The festival could not be conducted last year as a result of a ban imposed by Karnataka High Court in 2016 based on a public interest litigation filed by PETA.