For Immediate Release:
29 March 2012
Dr Manilal Valliyate; [email protected]
Sachin Bangera; [email protected]
Group Launches New Project at Sangli Sugarcane Factory
Mumbai – The Kranti Sugar Factory recently welcomed Animal Rahat, an organisation supported by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and dedicated to relieving the suffering of working bullocks, as it launched its new Tractor Project by replacing five of the factory’s bullock carts with five mini-tractors. The 10 bullocks, who used to pull overloaded carts under the hot sun for months every sugarcane season, were taken to Animal Rahat’s Retired Bullock Home in Sangli, where their nose ropes were removed and they were given garlands, had tikka applied to their faces and were offered prasad. The Kranti Sugar Factory plans to replace all carts with mechanised transport in the coming years.
“Animal Rahat and PETA India are proud to work with the Kranti Sugar Factory on the first steps of this life-saving new programme”, says Animal Rahat Programme Manager Dr Sudheesh Nair. “Our Tractor Project will help establish mini-tractors as a kind, lucrative and reliable method of transport that will help both sugar factories and current bullock owners.”
As part of The Tractor Project, sugarcane factories are given an interest-free loan to purchase the mini-tractors. Animal Rahat has given a subsidy of 1 lakh for each bullock cart replaced with a mini-tractor, and tractor company Angad has offered a discount of Rs 30,000 for each machine.
An average sugarcane factory uses approximately 1,200 bullocks every day during the sugarcane season from September to May. The bullocks struggle to pull heavy loads of more than 3 tons of sugarcane for up to 18 kilometres, an excessive weight that causes abscesses, swollen knees, yoke gall and muscle ailments. They are often violently handled and given insufficient food, water, rest and shade. Bullock owners who switch to using mini-tractors will be able to retire their animals to a life free from suffering and will avert the risk of losing their livelihood from the animals’ illness or injury.