Chennai, Jan 14: After three of years of struggle, the residents of Madurai on Sunday finally celebrated bull-taming festival Jallikattu. The district administration expects at least one lakh people will throng to venues at Palamedu, Allanganallur and Avanipuram to see the adventurous sport. Only 1000 bulls and their tamers are allowed to participate in the festival. However, only 600 bulls are expected to participate as the organisers have been told to adhere to the schedule. [SEE Jallikattu Live on Sun News: Watch Live Streaming of Bull Taming Sport From Madurai]

For the first time, tamers have been asked to provide blood samples of bulls to ascertain they are not under the influence of alcohol or any other sedatives. The three-day event will continue on Monday and Tuesday too. The sport was marred by controversies this year when the Madurai district collector made the Aadhaar card mandatory for registration of bulls.

The sport is first time organised in compliance with Tamil Nadu Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Conduct of Jallikattu) Rules of 2017. Earlier, the Animal Welfare Board of India had issued guidelines for bull tamers to be observed at Jallikattu celebrations. In its recommendations, the board said that no animals should be subjected to nicotine and cocaine tests once they are declared fit to participate in the event.

“The animal selected should also be put to nicotine test, cocaine test before a certificate of suitability of the bulls to participate in the event is issued by the authorities,” the board said.

The board also recommended mandatory one-day insurance for bull. “During the event, one-day insurance, which is already in practice, should be made compulsory for the bulls, bullocks, bull owners [and] participants.” The board also said the calves below the age of three would not be allowed to participate in the event.

“The events should be videographed, and that calves below the age of three and above 15 years will not be eligible to participate,” the guidelines added.