India – Respect for Cows!
India is known as the land of sacred cows decorated with flowers. But behind the scenes it looks different: India is also the world's largest milk producer and beef exporter. The handling of cattle at markets, during transport and slaughter is of unimaginable cruelty, despite strict animal welfare laws. This also applies to other 'farm' animals such as pigs and poultry. Since 2012, we have been on site and committed to change the situation with patience and perseverance.
What are the Animals Suffering From?
India's laws to protect animals during transport and on markets are progressive and many times stricter than in Europe. But reality looks different:
- No shadow, despite enormous temperatures.
- No water supply.
- Lack of loading ramps and simplest infrastructure.
- The loading and unloading of cattle is hectic and brutal. The animals are beaten and pushed with sticks, even on the most sensitive body parts.
- Pigs and chickens are offered for sale lying on the ground with their legs tied together.
- Neither veterinarians nor authorities are on-site to ensure compliance with the laws.
- The means of transport are absolutely unsuitable for animals. Goats and chickens are transported with tied legs on bicycles, scooters or in trunks.
- Cattle are transported in car rickshaws or on loading beds of open trucks.
- Overloading is one of the main problems. Cattle are pushed into the loading area standing next to each other or forced onto their knees and tied to the ground. The mighty animals tremble all over their bodies and urinate out of fear and stress.
- There are hardly any official controls. Bribery is an omnipresent problem.
What Animals' Angels Does Against it
Since 2012, Animals' Angels has been on-site with the animals in India. Together with our local partner VSPCA, we are advocating with our ‘Cattle Respect Programme India’ for a respectful treatment of 'farm' animals.
Our intervention team is at cattle markets, with the animals on transports, in the streets and temples. We document grievances, report violations and work together with police and veterinary authorities. To achieve sustainable results for the animals, we conduct training courses on animal welfare for inspection authorities.
- Respectful treatment of 'farm' animals.
- Regular inspections of animal transports and markets by the responsible authorities.
- Application of existing animal welfare laws.
Together with the VSPCA, we plan our strategy and the individual project steps. In 2014, the VSPCA team was also the winner of our Julia Award for Courage.