‘Allow bull-fights in Goa as they head-butt anyway’

Panaji, June 7 (IANS) Bull-fights should be allowed in Goa because male bovines anyway head-butt and fight before mating, Congress MP Francisco Sardinha said here Friday.

Sardinha, an avid bull-fighting buff, who has raised the issue of legalising the sport in Goa in the past, was addressing a press conference at the state party headquarters in Panaji.

“Which animals do not fight before procreation or mating? You think without organising these fights bulls do not head-butt otherwise at all?” Sadinha said, adding that he would back the government if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) works out a way to legally start bull-fighting, called dhirio in Goa.

A typical dhiri (singular for dhirio) involves two specially reared fighting bulls, head-butting each other until one scampers away from the ring, which is lined by thousands of spectators who bay for a bloody battle and gamblers who wager large sums of money on their favourite animal.

The Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court had banned the bull-fights in Goa in the late 1990s.

Sardinha, who had moved a private bill in parliament a couple of years ago seeking resumption of bull-fights, said that the sport was a Goan tradition and could not be held hostage just because “some so-called animal lovers do not want bull-fights”.

“They are making it seem as if animals do not fight,” Sardinha said, adding that in absence of legal bull-fighting, several illegal bull-fights were being organised by anti-social elements on Sunday mornings in several coastal villages in north and south Goa.

The Goa legislative assembly has already passed a private member’s bill asking the government to enact a legislation allowing bull-fighting in the state.

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