Friday, 9 September 2011

PETA fights for bullocks at international oil and gas summit

MUMBAI: Animal activists have managed to embarrass the head honchos of oil and gas companies for cruelly exploiting bullocks for transportation works in Mumbai, although there is a ban on the use of bullock carts.

At around noon on Thursday, a supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India took the stage at the Oil and Gas Review Summit and International Exhibition at Taj Lands End, Bandra, Mumbai, to urge the audience members specifically, representatives from Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleumand Bharat Petroleum to replace bullock carts with a humane form of transporting oil. The gutsy activist, Kriti Sachdeva, was dragged out of the conference by the event organisers and escorted out of the hotel.

""Attention, ladies and gentlemen!"" Kriti said as she took the stage. ""Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum support cruelty to bulls. Despite a ban, their oil is transported by more than 500 exploited bulls in Mumbai."" As the protester was escorted out of the room, she chanted, ""Shame on [them] for supporting cruelty to bulls! Shame!"" Kriti also held out a banner that read, "Indian Oil, BP, HP: Stop Supporting Cruelty to Bulls." In response, many members of the audience reportedly cheered her.

Kerosene bullock cart

In 2008, the Ministry of Food and Civil Supplies, Maharashtra, decided to phaseout bullock carts transporting kerosene in Mumbai by 31 March 2009, and a Government of Maharashtra 2006 notification bans the keeping and movement of cattle in Mumbai. Despite this ban, approximately 524 bullocks are still used to transport kerosene from oil ports in Sewri and Wadala to different rationing shops in the city. These animals endure tremendous suffering many bullocks are underweight and ill; are kept in filthy conditions; and are forced to work beyond their physical capabilities, pulling heavy loads in all weather extremes. Many suffer from yoke gall (acute and chronic inflammation caused by pressure from the yoke or harness), maggot-infested wounds, infected sores, acute or chronic arthritis or intestinal problems like diarrhoea and impaction. The animals are rarely, if ever, given veterinary treatment. And because the carts are a traffic hazard, the public is also put at risk.

PETA recently filed a case asking the Bombay High Court to direct the Ministry and Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited to immediately enforce the ban.

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