32 injured as India's annual bull-taming sport Jallikattu begins

Thirty-two people have been injured as the traditional bull-taming sport of Jallikattu got underway as part of a festival in southern India.

Video from Pongal Festival in Madurai, Tamil Nadu captured on Wednesday (January 14) shows the bulls being released one by one into a crowd of people.

Participants then try to tame the raging bull by holding onto the animal's hump for as long as possible while spectators look on.

More than 2,000 bulls will participate in Jallikattu, which is held until January 31.

According to local media, 32 people have been injured. Four of them, who suffered serious injuries, have been taken to Madurai Government Hospital.

A retired local member of the judiciary, Principal District Judge C Manickam, was appointed by the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court to visit the venue in Madurai and check on safety.

"Top police officials will be present to deal with any situation," Manickam told reporters.

"Twenty-one ambulance vehicles are ready to provide medical facility to the injured players," he added.

In 2014, India's top court banned the sport after a plea was filed by the Animal Welfare Board of India and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The ban was later lifted in 2017 after protests.