PETA Report Prompts Animal Welfare Board Directive On Humane Cattle Castration

For Immediate Release:

28 May 2012


Benazir Suraiya ; [email protected]

Dr Manilal Valliyate; [email protected]

Guidelines to Result in Major Change in Farming Practice and an End to Crude and Cruel ‘Crushing’ Method of Castration

Chennai – After months of meeting with a veterinary expert from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has issued an advisory to the Veterinary Council of India and state animal husbandry departments stating that the current common method of castration – forcing a bull to the ground and then using a Burdizzo castrator to crush the blood vessels, nerves and vas deferens connected to the testes, cutting off the blood supply and causing the testicles to atrophy, without any anaesthetics – qualifies as cruelty to animals under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The AWBI is now mandating that all bulls be castrated under anaesthesia by a registered veterinarian. Currently, each state animal husbandry department in India has a target of achieving about 1 to 2 lakh castrations per year.

“By imposing modern, humane veterinary standards for castration, the Animal Welfare Board of India’s advisory is set to result in a drastic improvement in the welfare of bulls in India”, says PETA India Director of Veterinary Affairs Dr Manilal Valliyate. “PETA applauds the AWBI for turning what was a stressful, extremely painful mutilation into a simple, pain-free procedure that will benefit both bulls and cattle owners and urges the Veterinary Council of India and state animal husbandry departments to act quickly to end the crude, cruel and archaic ‘crushing’ method of castration.”

The old castration procedure without anaesthesia was both frightening and extremely painful for the bulls, who would continue to feel pain for several weeks after the procedure. The new guidelines require veterinarians to use drugs to eliminate fear and pain during castration. Veterinarians should use short-acting anaesthetics, which last for 45 to 90 minutes, and longer-acting pain-relief drugs for post procedural pain management. These humane treatment options are available to farmers for a nominal one-time cost.

PETA further recommends that castration be performed when animals are 6 months of age or younger in order to minimise pain and stress.

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