Animal Rahat Launches Expanded Programme To Help Bullocks In Sugar Cane Mills

For Immediate Release:
14 December 2010

Benazir Suraiya +91 9004547382 (mobile); [email protected]
Dr Manilal Valliyate +91 7738387108 (mobile); [email protected]

Solapur, Maharashtra – In a ceremony held outside a sugar cane mill, the District Collector of Solapur will cut a giant ribbon on a new ambulance for animals as Animal Rahat, an organisation dedicated to relieving the suffering of working bullocks, launches the expansion of its programme to Pandharpur. Other government officials as well as sugar-mill representatives and owners of bullock-drawn carts will also attend the event. The newly formed Animal Rahat team of Pandharpur will provide free veterinary care and other assistance to bullocks who are working in the area’s mills. Animal Rahat is supported by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India.

When:                  Wednesday, 15 December, 11 noon sharp
Where:                 Siddhanath Sakhar Karkhana, Tirhe, Solapur District, Maharashtra

“Animals who are forced to pull heavy loads know pain, exhaustion and hardship”, says Animal Rahat’s programme manager, Dr Sushmita Parai, who will be in attendance. “From making sure that bullocks who are used in sugar cane mills receive proper food, water and veterinary care to providing information about the damaging effects of overloaded carts, ensuring the care of bullocks is in everyone’s best interests – including the animals’.”

With this expansion, Animal Rahat will be working with nine sugar cane mills –each of which uses more than 2,000 bullocks – in Solapur and Sangli districts. The group has found that although a healthy bullock can struggle to pull a 600-kilogram load, cart owners are given incentives to load the carts with up to 1,200 kilograms of sugar cane. As a result, many of the bullocks have gaping wounds on their necks and must struggle to take the first step on an 18-kilometre journey – often without food or water. Animal Rahat’s goal is to encourage managers of sugar cane mills to provide the animals with basic care and to at least adhere to the minimal guidelines. According to the Prevention of Cruelty to Draught and Pack Animals Rules, 1965, this would mean providing the bullocks with access to food, water and shade; taking measures to prevent injuries and diseases; and avoiding overloaded and unbalanced carts.

Members of the public are urged to sponsor animals in Animal Rahat’s care.
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