In exchange for the surrender of five bullocks who were being used to haul ice in Mumbai, BJP Corporator Daksha Patel, of ward number 36, Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal handed over the keys to two commercial three-wheeler vehicles and two commercial four-wheeler mini-trucks – courtesy of PETA India – to former bullock cart owners at a celebration on 30 March. PETA India has arranged for the rescued bullocks to live out the rest of their lives at a sanctuary in Sangli.
Bullocks are often forced to work even when sick or injured. Handlers use whips and painful nose ropes to force them to haul heavy carts as they struggle, breathing heavily and frothing at the mouth. The animals are denied access to proper nutrition, adequate water, and shade from the blazing sun. They are typically worked until death and receive no veterinary care for painful common health concerns, such as wounds, abscesses, muscle and joint ailments, cancer, blindness, and yoke gall.
Numerous former animal-drawn cart owners and their families are now benefitting from the through which the communities are now using motorised vehicles in place of animals. The switch has dramatically increased their earnings and enhanced their social and economic status. The motor vehicles allow former bullock and horse-drawn cart owners to avoid road restrictions that apply to animal carts and the disruption to their livelihood caused when animals are so sick or injured they simply cannot work.