In a First, 36 Donkeys Rescued and Over 500 Kilos of Donkey Meat Seized by Prakasam Police in Early Morning Raids With PETA India and Local Groups

Posted on by Sudhakarrao Karnal

Following a complaint from PETA India, Prakasam police, in a joint operation with PETA India and local groups from Andhra Pradesh, conducted raids in Prakasam district, seizing over 500 kilograms of donkey meat and 36 live donkeys who were slated to be slaughtered, making it the first ever large seizure of donkeys meant for this purpose in India. Gopal Surabathula of Animal Rescue Organisation and Vijay Kishore Palika of East Godavari SPCA were also part of the raids. Three persons involved in the illegal trade and slaughter have been arrested. It is worth noting that just last week, in a similar operation, the Bapatla police, with PETA India and local groups’ support, rescued 16 donkeys and seized over 100 kilograms of donkey meat, registered a first information report (FIR), and arrested four people in Bapatla in connection with the illegal donkey meat trade. And last month, Bapatla police, with PETA India’s, help seized over 400 kilograms of donkey meat, registered three FIRs, and arrested 11 people in Chirala in connection with the illegal donkey meat trade. Moreover, on Sunday, a truck carrying 26 donkeys was intercepted by local volunteers and PETA India, and they, too, were rescued.

An illegal roadside stall for killing donkeys at pillar no 49 under the bridge of Vijayawada Ongole highway, one selling donkey meat in Vaddivari Kunta, and another under Koppolu flyover in the jurisdiction of Ongole taluka police station were raided. Donkey meat and discarded body parts, including heads, legs, and flesh attached to tails, were seized by the police. An FIR has been registered by Ongole taluka police station under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860; The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960; and the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. The rescued donkeys have been moved to safety ahead of permanent rehabilitation.

In the state, butchers sell donkey meat by peddling unscientific myths about its supposed benefits, but killing donkeys and eating donkey meat violates a number of laws. Donkey slaughter violates Section 429 of the IPC, 1860, and is punishable with a jail term of up to five years, a fine, or both. Killing donkeys is also an offence under Section 11(1)(a) and (l) of the PCA Act, 1960. Consumption of donkey meat is illegal under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, and slaughtering animals in public places is banned under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughter House) Rules, 2001.

In a seven-year period, India’s donkey population has declined by 61%.

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