India’s high court bans a version of toros a la Tica

The supreme court in India has banned the use of bulls in activities that are called here toros a la Tica.

The action was praised by Humane Society International, which said this is a landmark ruling that means the end of horse-and-bull races, bullock races, and jallikattu — in which crowds torment bulls.

The Costa Rican version is a prominent part of the Zapote Christmas fiesta. The so-called bull fighting takes place nearly every day between Christmas and New Year’s. The events are televised and syndicated to stations overseas.

Typically in Costa Rica, similar to one form of Indian jallikattu, numbers of individuals are in the ring with the bull and taunt him, slap him on the rump and wave fabric in his face. Because bulls appear to have short attention spans only infrequently are the Tico bullfighters caught by the bull. Sometimes, however, participants are hurled into the stands. The events attract large, paying crowds that are amused by what takes place in the ring.

Similar activities take place a regional fairs and  fiestas, sometimes with fatal results for a participant. In Costa Rica, the bulls are not killed.

“In Spain, we’re working with local organizations to stop bull fiestas — in which crowds chase and taunt terrified animals before killing them, said Andrew Rowan, president of Humane Society International in a statement.  “Our Break a Spear campaign calls for an end to the chasing and stabbing to death of a bull during the annual Toro de la Vega fiesta in Tordesillas.

“Finally, we’re working to end bullfighting and seeking to raise public awareness that this needless cruelty is often subsidized by taxpayers’ money, despite waning interest from tourists and polls showing that most citizens are against it. The cruel treatment of bulls or any other animal for people’s amusement can never be justified.”

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