Success! Overworked Bullocks Replaced With E-Rickshaws in PETA India’s New Initiative

For Immediate Release:

15 April 2019


Nikunj Sharma; [email protected]

Sachin Bangera; [email protected]

Bulls Get Grass and Rest As Owners Who Benefit From Mechanisation Project Retire Their Hardworking Animals to a Sanctuary – Government, Industry Groups Pitch In  

Delhi – As a part of its Delhi Mechanisation Project to protect overworked and abused working animals – including bullocks, donkeys, ponies, and horses – and to provide their poor owners and families with better livelihood opportunities, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has just replaced 11 bullock carts with battery-operated e-rickshaws. The project has established a revolving fund to support the animal owners, allowing them to purchase e-rickshaws and retire the animals. All 11 bullocks were sent by PETA India to a sanctuary on the outskirts of Delhi, where they will receive veterinary exams and round-the-clock care and will never again experience the hardship and hazards of pulling laden carts through the noisy, congested streets of Old Delhi.

Photographs of bullocks, e-rickshaws, and happy owners are available upon request. Former animal cart owners who benefitted from the project are available for interviews.

“E-rickshaws are a wonderful, pollution-free way to prevent animals from being forced to haul heavy loads despite exhaustion, injuries, and malnutrition – and they enhance the owners’ livelihood,” says PETA India Mechanisation Project Coordinator Mahesh Tyagi. “Delhi’s street congestion necessitates a move towards a safer, animal cart–free future, and one day we hope to see the streets 100 percent animal-free.”

In Delhi, there are approximately 250 bullocks labouring in 20 market yards and some 150 horses pulling carriages in seven areas. Desperate owners, whose livelihood compels them to work even when animals are sick or have been injured in traffic accidents, use whips, painful nose ropes, and spiked bits to force them to haul overloaded carts. The animals are denied access to proper nutrition, adequate water, or shade from the blazing-hot sun. They are typically worked to death and receive no veterinary care for painful health concerns, including wounds, abscesses, muscle and joint ailments, cancer, blindness, and yoke gall.

PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse” – notes that the families benefitting from the project report that using an e-rickshaw has dramatically increased their earnings and enhanced their social and economic status. With the support of the Delhi government, e-rickshaw dealers, and finance companies, PETA India aims to expand the project throughout Delhi, and its goal is to make the city animal cart–free. PETA India points out that the e-rickshaws allow the former bullock cart owners to avoid the disruption of livelihood caused by infectious zoonotic diseases, the downtime that occurs when animals simply can’t work, and road restrictions that apply to animal carts.

The Transport Department of Delhi has framed guidelines for the operation and regulation of e-rickshaws in the city. The department also offers a subsidy of Rs 30,000 to e-rickshaw owners.

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