CHENNAI -- DMK's Working President and Leader of Opposition in the Tamil Nadu assembly M.K. Stalin on Monday urged the central government to ban People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) as it "is anti-national".
He also urged the central government to dissolve the existing management of the Animal Welfare Board and constitute a new team with representation from Tamil Nadu.
"Only then it would be understood that traditional sports like Jallikattu are not cruelty inflicted upon animals but signifies the cultural link between the man and the animal," Stalin said in a statement.
Stalin said on this basis, the Supreme Court's permission could be obtained to conduct traditional sports like Jallikattu with sufficient safeguards.
He said the central government should also ban non-governmental organisations (NGO) like PETA that function against Indian culture, tradition and also "as anti-national".
Stalin said the central government should not allow foreign organisations to function in India that do not understand India's cultural traditions.
The PETA is active against the conduct of Jallikattu -- bull vaulting and taming sport -- in Tamil Nadu.
The animal welfare organisation hit back, saying to stand for kindness is patriotic and to stand for cruelty is "un-Indian".
"PETA, India for past 17 years had served the animals of this country based on the law, to call PETA an anti-national is cheap," Manilal Valliyate, Director of Veterinary Affairs, PETA India told IANS.
PETA India in a statement also said that the Indian constitution calls for compassion for animals, adding, "to stand for kindness is patriotic, to stand for cruelty is un-Indian."
"Article 51A(g) of the Constitution of India makes it the mandate of every Indian citizen to have compassion for animals," PETA said.
Valliyate, who has personally witnessed Jallikattu events, said that the sport causes unnecessary pain to the people for amusement, which is against the law.
He added that animals like bulls do not become aggressive unless instigated, and in Jallikattu bulls are often poked or hurt to get them agitated.
According to PETA's fact sheet, since 2008, 43 people and at least 11 animals had died in Jallikattu, while over 5,000 people were injured.
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