PETA India’s three-month-long investigation into the illegal slaughter of donkeys and the sale of their flesh across Andhra Pradesh has revealed shocking findings. Recently, in a joint operation with Bapatla police, local groups and PETA India seized more than 400 kilograms of donkey meat, as well as discarded animal heads, legs, and tails – some with the flesh still attached – in four raids conducted across Bapatla district.
Smuggled and Secretly Killed
PETA India’s investigation revealed that young and adult donkeys are surreptitiously killed on roadsides, under flyovers, and behind makeshift stalls. According to the meat sellers, they’re smuggled into Andhra Pradesh from Telangana, Maharashtra, and other states late at night and in early morning to evade interception by police.
Donkeys are sensitive, intelligent individuals, who form deep bonds with their families and feel pain and fear. PETA India’s investigation found that they were not stunned before being slaughtered and were thus fully conscious and aware when their throats were slit. The animals’ discarded skins and organs were found dumped in the open, where they were eaten by stray dogs.
In Chirala, donkey meat was sold in broad daylight at six stalls at a busy traffic junction. In Tadepalle, it was sold in a shop near a police station. In Ongole, children were found helping the butchers slaughter and skin the donkeys.
India has laws governing the slaughter of animals, and they do not permit it to be done outside licensed slaughterhouses. They also make municipal authorities responsible for ensuring compliance with this law.
Breaking the Law
Donkey slaughter is a violation of Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and is punishable with a jail term of up to five years, a fine, or both. It also violates Section 11(1)(a) and (l) of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughter House) Rules, 2001.
Consuming donkey meat is illegal under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
India’s Donkey Population Is Rapidly Declining
The demand for donkey meat in Andhra Pradesh by those who believe that eating it or drinking donkey blood cures disease and increases virility has taken a horrific toll on the donkey population across India: it declined by 61% from 2012 to 2019.
Join PETA India in asking the chief minister and director general of police of Andhra Pradesh to quickly issue directions to prevent the smuggling and slaughter of donkeys and shut down the illegal trade of donkey meat and prosecute those involved in it.