PETA Member Takes Over Stage at International Oil and Gas Summit

Activist Takes BP, Indian Oil, and HP to Task for Using Overworked Bullocks in Spite of Ban

For Immediate Release:
8 September 2011

Sachin Bangera +91 98201 22561; [email protected]
Kriti Sachdeva +91 22 4072 7382; [email protected]

Mumbai – At around noon today, a supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India took the stage at the Oil and Gas Review Summit and International Exhibition at Taj Lands End, Bandra, Mumbai, to urge some audience members – specifically, representatives from Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum – to replace bullock carts with a humane form of transporting oil. She was dragged out of the conference by the event organisers and escorted out of the hotel. Video of the stage interruption is available from PETA.

“Attention, ladies and gentlemen!” the protester said as she took the stage. “Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum support cruelty to bulls. Despite a ban, their oil is transported by more than 500 exploited bulls in Mumbai.” As the protester was escorted out of the room, she chanted, “Shame on [them] for supporting cruelty to bulls! Shame!” The protester also held out a banner that read, “Indian Oil, BP, HP:  Stop Supporting Cruelty to Bulls.” In response, many members of the audience cheered.

In 2008, the Ministry of Food and Civil Supplies, Maharashtra, decided to phase out bullock carts transporting kerosene in Mumbai by 31 March 2009, and a Government of Maharashtra 2006 notification bans the keeping and movement of cattle in Mumbai. Despite this ban, approximately 524 bullocks are still used to transport kerosene from oil ports in Sewri and Wadala to different rationing shops in the city. These animals endure tremendous suffering – many bullocks are underweight and ill, are kept in filthy conditions and are forced to work beyond their physical capabilities, pulling heavy loads in all weather extremes. Many suffer from yoke gall (acute and chronic inflammation caused by pressure from the yoke or harness), maggot-infested wounds, infected sores, acute or chronic arthritis or intestinal problems like diarrhoea and impaction. The animals are rarely, if ever, given veterinary treatment. And because the carts are a traffic hazard, the public is also put at risk.

PETA recently filed a case asking the Honourable High Court of Mumbai to direct the Ministry and Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited to immediately enforce the ban.

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