Following PETA Campaign, Maharashtra Government Stops Use Of Bullock Carts To Transport Kerosene

PETA Celebrates as Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum Are Instructed to Transport Oil Using Non-Animal Methods


For Immediate Release: 

7 February 2012


Dr Manilal Valliyate +917738387108; [email protected]

Benazir Suraiya (022) 4072 7382; [email protected]

Mumbai – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has just received a copy of the instructions sent to ration shops and oil companies by the Controller of Rationing, Ministry of Food and Civil Supplies. The instructions, issued for the month of February, stop the transportation of kerosene in the city by bullock cart. The instructions were sent along with a copy of the 2006 notification by the Government of Maharashtra that bans the keeping and movement of cattle in Mumbai. These instructions follow a five-year-long campaign by PETA India, and mean that Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited stopped using bullock carts to transport kerosene beginning on 1 February 2012.

“Forcing bullocks, who are often sick and injured, to pull heavy oil carts on busy, hot and fume-filled Mumbai streets is an act of extreme abuse, and we are thrilled to see that the government has now taken steps to put this archaic and illegal practice to an end”, says PETA India Director of Veterinary Affairs Dr Manilal Valliyate. “PETA applauds the government’s action because it will bring much-awaited relief to hundreds of bullocks.”

More than 500 bullocks were being used to transport kerosene from oil ports in Sewri and Wadala to rationing shops in the city. These animals endured tremendous suffering – many bullocks were underweight and ill, kept in filthy conditions and forced to work beyond their physical capabilities, pulling heavy loads in all weather extremes. Many suffered from yoke gall (acute and chronic inflammation caused by pressure from a yoke or harness), maggot-infested wounds, infected sores, acute or chronic arthritis or intestinal problems, such as diarrhoea and impaction. The animals were rarely, if ever, given veterinary treatment. And because the carts are a traffic hazard, the public was also put at risk.

In a meeting held on 4 May 2011 by the Ministry of Food and Civil Supplies, which was attended by bullock owners’ associations and PETA India, it was decided that bullock owners would be given until 22 October 2011 to discontinue using bullock carts and switch over to appropriate motorised transport. The bullock owners were previously given until March 2009 to discontinue their use of bullock carts, so they have had three years to make the transition. In November 2010, in order kick start the ban on bullock drawn kerosene carts, PETA India through Piaggio donated an auto-rickshaw to a selected bullock owner which is expected to be on the road today. A photograph of this auto-rickshaw is attached.

 PETA India’s campaign has included numerous meetings with government officials, demonstrations outside Indian Oil petrol pumps, a disruption of Oil and Gas Review Summit and International Exhibition at Taj Lands End, Bandra, Mumbai by a PETA India supporter and a petition signed by Akshaye Khanna, Rahul Khanna, Raveena Tandon, Eesha Koppikar, Arjun Rampal and others. PETA India also has a case being argued in the Honourable High Court of Mumbai regarding this issue.

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