The Union Ministry of Law and Justice has cleared the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill 2017, legalising kambala — the traditional slush track buffalo race — and will send it to the President for his assent, said Union Minister of State for Law and Justice P.P. Choudhary on Wednesday.
Talking to reporters after a function here to mark three years of Narendra Modi-led NDA government, Mr. Choudhary said the Centre had returned the Bill to the State government asking it to make some modifications. “The modified version came a few days ago. I cleared it three days ago,” he said. Mr. Choudhary said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party were in favour of sports such as kambala that have a strong link with local culture. “We are here to protect such sports,” he said.
Following protests by people and kambala organisers in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts, the State government on February 13, 2017 passed the Bill to exempt kambala and bullock-cart racing from the ambit of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
In the meeting held on April 13, 2017 in New Delhi, the Additional Secretary of the Union Home Ministry suggested to the government to modify or omit the phrase “subject to such other conditions as may be prescribed” in the sub-section 2 of section 3 of the Bill. This phrase opened the window for inclusion of more sports involving animals through government notifications in the future. The State government made the modification and sent it to the Centre.