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NEW DELHI - India's top court on Wednesday banned an ancient tradition where young men run with bulls, saying it inflicted "extreme cruelty" on the animals. Credit: Getty Editorial The bull run, known as "Jallikattu", is a key part of the rice harvest festival of Pongal in villages in southern India every January. Some foreign tourists travel to the country to watch and take part in the spectacle. "All living creatures have inherent dignity and a right to live peacefully," declared Supreme Court Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan in the ruling. In the Jallikattu, young men struggle to grab the bulls by their sharpened horns or jump on their backs as the muscular animals, festooned with...

Baby Wallaby Rescued From Facebook Sale

SYDNEY - A man is facing charges after he allegedly attempted to sell a baby wallaby on Facebook, attracting bids as high as Aus$10,000 (US$9,291) before he was caught, officials said Thursday. Credit: Getty Creative The marsupial was rescued by Western Australia's Department of Parks and Wildlife after an officer posing as a potential buyer met the man in a car park in Broome, in the state's north. The 26-year-old, who faces five offences under the Wildlife Conservation Act, had allegedly advertised the joey for sale for Aus$3,500, wildlife officer Peter Carstairs said. "We understand there was an offer of up to Aus$10,000 from a buyer visiting from overseas," Carstairs said of the...

LONDON - A dog owner from northeastern England has been threatened with police action after his ageing pet Rottweiler was registered to vote in next month's European Parliament elections, it emerged Tuesday. Credit: Kusadasi-Guy/Flickr Russell Hoyle, 45, from Stockton near Newcastle, was asked to attend a police interview and risks a fine or even prison for the registration of his dog Zeus, according to the local Evening Gazette newspaper. Hoyle blamed the mix-up on an official who came to his house to take names of residents for the electoral register. "I remember saying, 'There is myself and my wife. My son is not old enough to vote'," recalled Hoyle, a security guard. Then he said he...

AYUKAWA, Japan - A Japanese whaling fleet left port Saturday under tight security, marking the first hunt since the UN's top court last month ordered Tokyo to stop killing whales in the Antarctic. Credit: KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images Four ships departed from the northeastern fishing town of Ayukawa to cheers from local people, just weeks after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) slammed Japan's expedition in the Southern Ocean as a commercial activity masquerading as research. The coastal hunt on Saturday was not part of Japan's annual Antarctic campaign and the ICJ ruling did not affect it. But it holds symbolic importance as critics call for Japan to end the slaughter outright,...

BEIJING - China's legislature voted on Thursday to approve a legal measure that will jail people caught eating rare wild animals, state media reported. Credit: Getty Creative The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) approved a new interpretation of China's Criminal Law at a bimonthly session, the official Xinhua news agency reported. The NPC, China's top legislature, met in full session in March. However the NPC Standing Committee has the authority to pass legislation and make legal changes on its own. The report said that China's government deems 420 species of wild animals as rare or endangered. The animals include giant pandas, golden monkeys, Asian black bears...