No using beasts of burden to transport oil: State

Govt instructs oil companies to do away with bullock carts after PETA highlights ill-treatment of animals

In an attempt to prevent animal abuse, the state government has instructed petroleum giants Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum to not transport oil using animal power. To stop transportation of kerosene in the city in bullock carts, a copy of the instructions along with a copy of the 2006 notification by the state government that bans oil companies and ration shops from keeping and using cattle for transportation purposes has been circulated among ration shops and oil companies across the state by the Controller of Rationing, Ministry of Food and Civil Supplies.

Banned: Bullock carts transporting oil. PETA says bullock cart owners
do not treat the animals well. file pic

Five-year campaign
The move is an outcome of a five-year-long campaign by animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). PETA activists welcomed the order, saying that forcing bullocks to pull heavy oil carts on busy and hot streets is an act of extreme abuse.

"We are thrilled to see that the government has now taken steps to put an end to this archaic practice," said Dr Manilal Valliyate, director of veterinary affairs, PETA, India. An inspection carried out by the activists last year revealed bullocks used in transportation of oil endured tremendous suffering as most of them were underweight or ill, kept in filthy conditions and were forced to work beyond their physical capabilities.

As a result, most of the bullocks suffered from chronic inflammation caused by pressure from the yoke, maggot-infested wounds, infected sores, arthritis or intestinal problems. In a meeting held on May 4, 2011, involving the ministry, bullock owners' associations and PETA, it was decided that bullock owners would be given time till October 22, 2011, to discontinue the use of bullock carts and switch over to appropriate motorised transport for carrying oil.

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