CM assures actions to be taken against dhirio organisers

Dhirio Goa
Dhirio is the Konkani term for bullfights (bull-on-bull)

After the couple of cases registered regarding the dhirios conducted, Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant has instructed the Goa Police to take strict actions against these illegal activities.

“We have asked the police to crackdown on illegal bullfights and police teams have already started working on it,” CM said while addressing a meeting of the State Animal Welfare Board on Tuesday. 

Additionally, the Chief Minister decided to take necessary actions against the illegal pet shops as well and has requested the activists to ensure minimum or no animal cruelty. “A lot of illegal pet shops are operating in the State and this too is cruelty to animals. We need to regularise them or shut them down,” Sawant said. The Government has also decided to provide financial support to animal welfare NGOs. 

Amongst the cases which were recently registered, there has been death of one bull and injury to another bull recorded from a dhirios held at Mandrem in January. Two men were detained for conducting the bullfight, one from Parra-Bardez and the other from Kudal-Maharashtra. 

Besides, Govansh Raksha Abhiyan-Goa, an NGO which takes care of the stray and abandoned cattle in Goa has written to the North District Collector asking for a crackdown on these illegal dhirios and also illegal beef imports from Karnataka. 

“Despite the ban, bull fights are common in Goa’s villages. We have field numerous complaints but the police often do not respond quickly enough,” said Hanumant Parab, President of the Govansh Raksha Abhiyan.

Dhirios are bull fighting events which were banned by the Bombay High Court in the year 1997 in order to avert animal cruelty. But it hasn’t stopped a few people in conducting these events. Dhirios are still quietly held in Goa.

Invitations are sent across via social media platforms in private group chats and as the events are illegal the people are notified on a very short notice. Fighting bull owners also challenge the other owners to fight in the match.

Dhirios are almost like the street fighting events where the audience bets on the participating bulls. A dhiri involves two bulls raised specially for dhirios with fine physiques and sharpened horns, the bulls are forced to fight until one of them runs away from the ring which marks as his defeat.

“If the bulls are popular, with victories under their belt, the owner of a winning bull could come away with Rs 1 to Rs 5 lakh in one single fight,” a fighting bull owner from Siolim told IANS anonymously.

These bulls have a special diet too consisting of grain, jaggery, coconut, came, vegetables and a strict exercises regimen which includes a lot of running. 

Dhirios cause a lot of injuries to the bulls participating which also leads to their deaths, hence the ban. 

“Whenever we have got information, we register the cases against fighting bull owners. The animals in such cases are also medically examined,” said Jivba Dalvi, Police Inspector in charge of the Pernem Police Station. 

Dalvi said that since the sections of law under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act for such crimes are bailable it is not enough to crackdown these illegal dhirios.

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