For Immediate Release:
25 July 2017
Ayushi Sharma; [email protected]
Shambhavi Tiwari; [email protected]
Festival Means Cruelty, Pain, Illness, and Death for Animals
Chandigarh – As Nag Panchami approaches, two People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India members – dressed and painted to resemble snakes – will bear signs reading, “Be Kind to Snakes. Have a Cruelty-Free Nag Panchami,” in Chandigarh to remind passers-by that the animals experience pain and illness when they’re deprived of their natural food and force-fed cows’ milk during festival celebrations.
When: Wednesday, 26 July, 12 noon sharp
Where: Next to Sukhna Lake, Sector No 1, Chandigarh
“The best way to honour snakes for Nag Panchami is to let them live freely in their natural habitats,” says PETA India’s Ayushi Sharma. “PETA is calling on citizens to spare snakes the terror and misery of capture, confinement, and potential death by holding snake-free celebrations.”
Cobras and other snakes are protected under The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and catching or injuring them is a punishable offence. Yet ahead of Nag Panchami, they’re often captured in bags, kept in tiny boxes, and starved. Their teeth are often violently yanked out, and in many cases, their mouths are sewn shut before they’re taken into cities. When forced to drink cows’ milk, they often become ill or even die. In addition, their venom ducts are often pierced with a hot needle, which causes their glands to burst. Some snakes become visually impaired when tikka – a red decorative pigment that is applied to their hoods during pooja (an act of worship) – trickles into their eyes. And the “dance” that snakes perform is actually a fearful reaction to the charmer’s pipe, which the animals view as a threat. Many snakes used in this festival die horribly every year.
PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – encourages anyone who sees snake charmers to contact the Chandigarh Forest Department immediately.
For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.