PETA ‘Snakes’ to Call for Animal-Friendly Nag Panchami

For Immediate Release:
10 August 2018


Radhika Suryavanshi; [email protected]

Garima Jain; [email protected]

Festival Means Cruelty, Pain, Illness, and Death for Animals

Nagpur – As Nag Panchami approaches, two People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India members – dressed and painted to resemble snakes – will carry signs reading, “Be Kind to Snakes. Have a Cruelty-Free Nag Panchami,” in Nagpur 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:             Monday, 13 August, 12 noon sharp

Where:           Samvidhan Chowk, Civil Lines, Nagpur, Maharashtra 440001

“The best way to honour snakes for Nag Panchami is to let them live free in their natural habitats,” says PETA India’s Radhika Suryavanshi. “PETA India is calling on residents 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’s applied to their hoods during pooja (an act of worship) – trickles into their eyes. And the “dance” that these animals perform is actually a fearful reaction to the charmer’s pipe, which they 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 Maharashtra Forest Department immediately.

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