Jallikattu should not go extinct due to modern western thoughts
-Kamal Haasan

'Jallikattu not just a sport, but breeding science'
-HipHop Tamizha

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#Save Jallikattu Campaign

Jallikattu events are held once the winter harvest is finished. Bulls reared specially for the sport are taken out to participate. Spectators take note of the best bulls on display and seek them out in the shandies or cattle markets that are held from December till April all over Tamil Nadu. Since small farmers cannot afford to keep stud bulls, villages through the state buy a common temple bull to service all the cows of the settlement. The calves from such bulls, which have displayed their agility on the sports field, are in great demand.

What happens if it is banned?

Jallikattu events provide the opportunity for bulls to be exhibited. Jallikattu helps bulls establish their pedigree. Male calves are kept only in regions with a tradition of sports like jallikattu and in other regions, they are sold and taken to slaughter in only a few days. With the reduced availability of males, farmers have to go for artificial insemination. Native cows do not yield as much milk as the imported breeds and are not supported by breeding programmes. This results in the proliferation of cross-bred cattle. Unless bulls are bred and reared in the region, their offspring will be less likely to adapt to changes in the climate and local environment. Unless we engage with the traditional livestock keepers and support them, we will lose these breeds as well as lay the ground for commercial dairies and slaughter houses to overwhelm small farmers. Milk industry which yields billions will be slowly transformed to corporate as only they can feed the cows with imported foods and afford the costly maintenance.


‘Jallikattu’ is a rare sport that has been continuously played for thousands of years. A seal made of stone found at Mohenjodaro, depicts “jallikattu” that was prevalent in the Indus Civilisation. The seal, about 4,000 years old, is on display at the National Museum, New Delhi.

The Sport has become an intrinsic part of the Tamil culture that it has broken all religious and caste barriers. People of all religions, caste and creed participate in this sport. The sport is usually held once a year in a village to celebrate a local temple or church festival. About 30% of the events held during 2013 were organised by christian churches.

 J allikattu Saves Native Cattle Species

Jallikattu is not just a sport! It is inter-twined in the Tamil rural eco-system in many ways than what meets the eye.

 The honour of the family bull participating in a Jallikattu is the sole reason for the bull not being sent to the slaughter-house ! Since only local breed of bulls are best suited for the sport, villagers rear bulls of local breeds specifically suited for the purpose.

Every village temple selects a bull as its offical ‘Temple Bull’. The temple bull is essentially the common village stud bull, fed and readred by the whole village. It is allowed to roam free in the village. The temple bull is changed every three years to avoid in-breeding! During Jallikattu the temple bull is given the honour of entering the arena first and, by convention, nobody embraces it.