For Immediate Release:11 November 2010
Contact:Benazir Suraiya +91 9004547382; BenazirS@petaindia.org
Mumbai – To mark the implementation of the Ministry of Food and Civil Supplies' ban on the use of bullocks to transport kerosene in Mumbai, Ingrid E Newkirk, founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and PETA affiliates worldwide, has flown to India from the US to personally donate a diesel-powered "auto rickshaw" to the owner of a bullock-drawn cart during a 12 November ceremony near the Sewri Railway Station. The auto rickshaw has been fitted with an oil tank and is being provided free of charge by Piaggio. In return, PETA will retire the weary bullock to a sanctuary operated by PETA's Animal Rahat rescue programme in Sangli. Also present at the exchange ceremony will be a representative from Piaggio, government officials, representatives from oil companies and the bullock cart owners union leaders.
When: Friday, 12 November, 12 noonWhere: Near Sewri Railway Station (where the bullock-drawn carts wait), Sewri Gaadi Adda, Haji Bunder Road, Sewri (East)
"Forcing bullocks, who are often sick and injured, to pull heavy oil carts is cruel enough, but making them work in the busy, hot and fume-filled streets of Mumbai is an act of extreme abuse", says Newkirk. "We look forward to working with the government, the oil companies and the unions to implement the long overdue ban on Mumbai's bullock-drawn oil carts."
On 30 September 2008, the Ministry made the decision to end the use of bullocks to transport kerosene in Mumbai by 31 March 2009, but the ban has yet to be implemented. To get the ban rolling, PETA is donating the first auto rickshaw and encouraging the Ministry to provide funding to replace all of Mumbai's approximately 200 bullock-drawn carts with auto rickshaws and to require that oil companies, labour unions and cart owners also contribute.
Bullocks used to transport kerosene are typically underfed and undernourished, and many suffer from illnesses or injuries. They are kept in filthy conditions and forced to work beyond their physical capabilities, pulling heavy loads through all weather extremes. Motorists and other members of the public who encounter bullocks in the streets are also placed at risk.
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