PETA ‘Snakes’ to Call for Snake-Friendly Nag Panchami

For Immediate Release:
17 August 2015

Bhuvaneshwari Gupta +91 9167937382; [email protected]
Sachin Bangera +91 9820122561; [email protected]

Festival Means Cruelty, Pain, Illness and Death for Animals

Indore – As Nag Panchami approaches, two People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India members – dressed and painted like snakes – will bear signs reading, “Be Kind to Snakes. Have a Cruelty-Free Nag Panchami”, in Indore to remind passers-by that the animals experience pain and illness when they’re deprived of food and force-fed cows’ milk during festival celebrations.

When:       Tuesday, 18 August, 11 am sharp

Where:      On the public pavement near Shoppers Stop, BPK Star Building, opposite Lig Gurudwara, AB Road, near Shaniwar Darpan,Indore, Madhya Pradesh 452001

“The best way to honour snakes for Nag Panchami is to let them live freely in their natural habitats”, says PETA India Chief Executive Officer Poorva Joshipura. “PETA India’s motto reads, in part, ‘that animals are not ours to abuse in any way’, and that’s why we’re calling on citizens to spare snakes the terror and misery of capture, confinement and potentially deadly dehydration by holding snake-free celebrations.”

Cobras and other snakes are protected under the The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and catching or injuring them is a punishable offence. Yet ahead of Nag Panchami, snakes are often captured in bags, kept in tiny boxes and starved. Their teeth are often violently yanked out, and in many cases, their mouths are sewn shut before they are taken into cities. When forced to drink cows’ milk, snakes often become dehydrated, which can lead to dysentery and even death. In addition, their venom ducts are often pierced with a hot needle, which causes their glands to burst. Some snakes become visually impaired when tikka – a red decorative pigment that is applied to their hoods during pooja (an act of worship) – trickles into their eyes. And the “dance” that snakes perform is actually a fearful reaction to the charmer’s pipe, which the animals view as a threat. Many snakes used in this festival die horribly every year.

PETA India encourages anyone who sees snake charmers to contact Dr Sudhir Khetawat on +91 9425937210 or the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department immediately.

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