Nearly 5,000 Bulls Spared Suffering
The Tractor Project has already saved nearly 5,000 bullocks – 4,954 to be exact – from toiling under the yoke for sugar factories. And it’s only just begun.
Started in 2011 by the PETA-supported working animal relief organisationAnimal Rahat, The Tractor Project aims to help workers afford mini-tractors that they can use in place of their bullocks for the heavy labour of hauling sugarcane. Animal Rahat has worked with the manufacturer of the mini-tractors to convince it to give workers who use bullocks a break on the price and has also convinced the factories to offer these workers loans with which they can purchase the equipment.
It’s a win-win-win situation. The tractors are much more efficient than animals, meaning that the workers and the factories can both increase their productivity and output. And the bullocks, who are often denied sufficient water, food, rest and veterinary care, are spared the struggle of pulling carts piled high with sugarcane under the blazing sun. When too ill or exhausted to continue, bullocks are often beaten, whipped or yanked roughly by thick ropes threaded through their pierced noses.
To get the project off the ground, Animal Rahat helped purchase the first five tractors, which were used by workers at the Kranti Sugar Factory in Sangli in 2011. What began with five tractors has grown to 988. That’s a lot of workers’ lives improved and a lot of bullocks spared. Most of the workers purchased tractors at the beginning of the sugarcane season rather than bullocks, which means that the animals never entered this cycle of abuse. And the workers who already had bullocks were able to move them to fields, where the animals pull lighter loads on soft earth for less time each day.
Animal Rahat doesn’t intend to stop until every one of these gentle animals is retired from hauling sugarcane.
But the organisation can’t do it alone. It relies on donations to help cover its work. You can find the donation link for Animal Rahat here.