Kambala Samithi to adhere to state govt’s conditions

A view of a Kambala race.

The Zilla Kambala Samithi members said that they will abide by the set of conditions laid down by the state government for organising Kambala in the region.

Speaking to media persons, the Samithi General Secretary M Rajiva Shetty Edthooru said that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) organisation has filed a petition in Supreme Court seeking the striking down of the Karnataka amendment that allows Kambala. The PETA has made Government of India and Karnataka government as respondents, he said.

“If required, the Kambala Samithi is willing to implead in the case and present evidence to prove that no violence takes place in Kambala,” he said.

“We do not cause any harm to the Kambala buffaloes. There is no cruelty involved here. The allegations of the PETA that buffalo bulls used in Kambala are pushed, dragged, beaten, and forced to race until their bodies overheat and they are left frothing at the mouth are childish in nature,” he said.

“When the ban on Kambala hanged like a sword of Damocles on us, the Kambala Samithi had brought in reforms in the race. We have framed a set of rules for organising Kambala, to ensure that the Kambala buffaloes do not undergo any kind of cruelty. The PETA has submitted an old footage to highlight the violence in Kambala. The ‘baaru kolu’ (whip) is used by the Kambala jockey only to scare the animal and not to beat it. The footage of calf being made to run on the Kambala track is being shown by the PETA before the Supreme Court,” he said.

“The conditions laid down by the state government states that the racing track shall not be more than 100 metres long and 7.5 metres wide. But we will seek a relaxation in this rule to allow the track to be 120 metre to 140 metre long. If the government does relax this rule, we will restrict the Kambala race to a 100-metre track,” he said.

The conditions laid down for conducting Kambala states that no person shall use he-buffalo for Kambala in any area where the temperature exceeds 37 degree Celsius between 12 noon and 3 pm. No person shall use a whip or stick to force the animal to walk or to hasten the pace of their walk or apply chillies or any other substance to any part of the body of the animal.

The condition also says no he-buffalo having scars/injury marks of beating on their body are permitted to participate in Kambala. No person shall administer any injurious drugs/injurious substance to any buffalo. A fitness certificate should be obtained from a veterinary doctor. The owners or organisers will train the buffalo as a performing animal to perform an act in accordance with its basic natural instinct and it shall not be used continuously. The owners/organisers should ensure proper shelter, clean drinking water, nutritious food and veterinary aid. The jurisdictional veterinary officer and the police SI shall be present in the venue from the beginning until the end of the Kambala race. If anyone is found violating the conditions, then steps should be taken to prosecute them.

Shetty said the Samithi will convene a special meeting at Swarna Mandira in Moodbidri at 2 pm on September 23, for the installation of newly appointed office-bearers of the Kambala Samithi. The meeting will also sensitise Kambala buffalo owners on the conditions laid down by the government. Union Minister D V Sadananda Gowda will take part in the meeting. Former minister K Abhayachandra Jain will inaugurate the meeting.

The Kambala calender (Kambala events scheduled from November to March) will be framed after the installation of office-bearers, he added.

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Kambala Samithi to adhere to state govt’s conditions

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