For Immediate Release:
9 June 2011
Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]
Dr Manilal Valliyate; [email protected]
Group Obtains Receipts Showing Carts Were Illegally Overloaded; Action Comes After Police Ignore Flagrant Violations of the Law
Pune – Based on evidence obtained by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, the Judicial Magistrate Court of Indupur issued a notice against Shri Chaatrapati Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Ltd (SCSSK) for violating the Prevention of Cruelty to Draught and Pack Animals, 1965, by exceeding the allowable weight of 2,800 kilograms per bullock cart. After local police failed to take action – even though bullocks struggling with illegally overloaded carts pass right in front of the police station – PETA obtained receipts of payments made to bullock-cart owners by the sugarcane factory that clearly indicate that loads were far in excess of the legal limit. SCSSK’s board of directors appealed the issuance to the Baramati Session Court, which will rule on the matter on 10 June.
“Just by the way the animals strain every muscle and can barely walk, anyone can see that these bullock carts are overloaded”, says PETA India Director of Veterinary Affairs Dr Manilal Valliyate. “We hope that this court ruling will put the sugarcane factories on notice that their days of flouting the law and tormenting working animals are numbered.”
Bullock-cart owners in Maharashtra are reportedly encouraged to overload bullocks through incentives offered by sugar factories. The animals are often forced to pull loads twice the size of what a normal, healthy bullock could pull. The excessive weight causes bullocks to suffer from swollen knees, necks and shoulders, and the strain impairs their immune systems and shortens their lives. It is common to find bullock carts so overloaded with sugarcane that the animals have a difficult time walking. It is also common to find two to three people sitting on top of each cart, adding to the weight. The bullocks struggle, breathe heavily and froth at the mouth. Most do not receive even a drop of water while working.
For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.