24 January 2017 Current Affairs: The Tamil Nadu Assembly on 23 January 2017 passed a Bill amending the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 unanimously.
The Bill is aimed at safeguarding Jallikattu sport in the state saying it helps preserve native breeds of bulls and serves to uphold tradition and culture.
The Bill labels Jallikattu as an event involving bulls conducted with a view to following tradition and culture from January to May. It also includes similar events like 'manjuviratu', 'vadamadu' and 'erudhuvidum' festivals.
State Chief Minister O Panneerselvam piloted the Bill, which was supported by all the three opposition parties, the DMK, the Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML).
The first legal jallikattu under this exemption is scheduled on 1 February 2017 in Alanganallur, Madurai district.
The Animal Welfare Board of India had filed a case in the Supreme Court for a complete ban on Jallikattu. The cruelty to animals and the threat to public safety were the reasons behind asking the ban.
The SC, on 27 November 2010, permitted the Government of Tamil Nadu to allow Jallikattu for five months in a year. The apex court also directed the District Collectors to make sure that the animals that participate in the game are registered to the Animal Welfare Board.
In 2011, the Ministry of Environment and Forests issued a notification that banned the use of bulls as performing animals. Therefore, the event was banned. However, Jallikattu continued to be held under Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act No 27 of 2009.
On 7 May 2014, the top court struck down the state law and completely banned Jallikattu. The court also noted that any disdain shall result in penance under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
The Union Government on 8 January 2016 passed an order exempting Jallikattu from all performances where bulls cannot be used, effectively reversing the ban. However, the SC on 14 January 2016 upheld its ban on the event, which eventually led to protests all over Tamil Nadu.
On 12 January 2017, the Supreme Court ordered a stay and issued notices to the Union Government and the Government of Tamil Nadu, and later refused to lift the stay.
On 21 January 2017, the Governor of Tamil Nadu issued a new ordinance that authorized the continuation of Jallikattu.