Chennai, May 28 (PTI) Noting that a "crude" way of cattle castration persisted in the country which amounted to cruelty, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has written to the Veterinary Council of India seeking to make sedation of cattle mandatory during the process. AWBI Chairman Dr R M Kharb has written recently to VCI, saying the "crude" method of restraint and castration in many veterinary polyclinics and hospitals was often performed on the animal by casting it on the ground and then using a Burdizzo castrator to crush the spermatic cord. "This crude method carried without the use of sedatives or anaesthetics causes the animal to experience immense pain, fear and stress, which amounts to cruelty as per Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960," he said in the letter.
This, therefore, was a "punishable offence." Stressing the need for sedatives on the animals, he said they reduce or even eliminate fear and pain during castration and options include short-acting local anaesthetics to longer-acting pain-relief drugs. All states Vetrinary Councils and Directors, State Animal Husbandry be advised to direct government veterinary hospitals to ensure castrations were performed using sedations, he said. The Animal Husbandry departments of all state governments were advised to delineate a standard operating procedure (SOP) for field castrations in large animals, which should include use of sedatives anaesthesia and to create inventories of drugs and equipment for this purpose, failure of which "calls for strict action," under the PCA Act, 1960 he said. Meanwhile, Animal rights advocacy group, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India Director of Veterinary Affairs Dr Manilal Valliyate welcomed the move saying it will benefit both the bulls and the cattle-owners.