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Karnataka government has decided to make changes to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA), 1960, allowing traditional sports like Kambala and bull-cart races in the state. This move is similar to what the Tamil Nadu government did for Jallikattu. The President has given approval, giving the green light for the continuation of Kambala in Karnataka.

What is Kambala?

  • Kambala is an annual traditional Buffalo Race (he-buffalo) held in coastal districts of Karnataka to entertain rural people of the area.
  • Slushy/marshy paddy field track is used for Kambala.
  • The sports season generally starts in November and lasts till March.
  • The contest generally takes place between two pairs of buffaloes, each pair race in two separate wet rice fields tracks, controlled by a whip-lashing farmer.
  • In the traditional form of Kambala, buffalo racing is non-competitive and buffalo pairs run one by one in paddy fields.
  • Besides, there is also ritualistic approach also as some agriculturists race their he-buffaloes for thanks giving to god for protecting their animals from diseases.
  • But in recent times, Kambala has become an organised rural sport.


  • On May 7, 2014, the Supreme Court made a decision that banned jallikattu, bullock-cart races, and kambala events.
  • The judgment was based on the Constitution of India and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. It aimed to ensure that animals have the right to be treated with kindness and respect, and should be spared from unnecessary pain and suffering.
  • Despite the ban, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 was introduced.
  • This ordinance specifically allowed the organizing of kambala events, with the condition that measures are taken to prevent cruelty to the participating bulls.


  • Jallikattu is a traditional bull-taming event.
  • It happens every year in Tamil Nadu during the Pongal harvest festival.
  • Participants in the event, called fighters, aim to pounce on a running bull.
  • Their challenge is to hold on to the bull’s hump.
  • The goal is to move along with the bull without falling or getting hurt.

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