World Animal Day: Sordid Indian Tale of Greed, Apathy and Animal cruelty

Pashu Sandesh, 05th October 2018

On 4th October yesterday, India along with whole world celebrated World Animal Day, a day which is dedicated for creating awareness on Welfare of the Animals and protection of endangered species. On this same day PETA released eyewitness footage revealing how chickens on farms in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are confined to severely crowded cages and subjected to cruelty. 

Battery cages as also acknowledged by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) as cruel method of housing poultry birds and was recommended to be phased out by 2017!!!  PETA also noted that confining hens to battery cages, mutilating their beaks, and starving them to force them to lay eggs have long been declared violations of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, by the AWBI and that the Law Commissiondraft The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Egg Laying Hens) Rules, 2017 among others.

With the explosion of population the demand for meat , milk and poultry products have increased tremendously. To meet the demand and to earn good profits companies and animal rearers often resort to practice which are unethical and most of the time outrightly cruel. Use of oxytocin in dairy animals and antibiotics in poultry are the prime examples other than those highlighted by PETA. 

AWBI and other Animal Lover organisations have done good job of creating awareness among the general public but there is much scope left to do more. AWBI has recently brought in focus the welfare of cows to its core agenda of Animal Welfare and Chairman AWBI pitching in with state welfare boards for the same has put spotlight on the Gaushalas. There are many Gaushals running and many more have sprung up in recent past to skim upon the Crores which are to be spent on such activities. Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh Governments have already announced full-fledged Cow welfare Ministries. One can imagine the amount of money that is going to be spent in the name of Cow Welfare. The Pathetic living conditions of the Animals in these Gaushalas tell an entirely different tale when one talk of such places as models of Cow protectionism in the name of Cow Welfare. 

We also talk of Wild life conservation and take pride in calling ourselves as champion of Wildlife conservation, but what is happening in Gir Gujarat to the Asiatic Lions is for everyone to see. Death of more than 23 Lions in short span of time due to disease and infighting as a result overcrowding is telling a tale of apathy and lack of political will as two states Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are going about in dealing with this serious problem. Lions are to be shifted to the KUNO wildlife sanctuary in MP for which there is an interventional order by the Court too but the fear of loosing the tag of Lion State is keeping Gujarat from executing Court’s order and the resulting delay is taking heavy toll on the Lion population.

On this World Animal Day, India and Indians need to rethink about the efforts they are putting for the Animal Welfare. Government on its part can make and implement stricter laws and We Indians on our part can remain vigilant against Animal cruelty and refuse any Animal product which do not comply with the guidelines of good farm practices.