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In the south of Anantapur district are three cattle markets where all laws regarding loading and treatment are flouted/neglected. Overloading of trucks with cattle for slaughter happens within the premises of cattle markets. The loading is extremely cruel. No action is taken by the police.
There is a vicious circle of reproduction/breeding and slaughter in which the farmers and the animals are losers; the slaughterhouses and the “powers that be” are the winners.
It is Karuna’s experience that the rescue of individual cattle from the markets does nothing to change the system. The struggle is uphill with heavy setbacks. There is no political will to change the cruel practice. Although individual animal lives are saved by the rescue, Karuna receives no funds to maintain these animals. Their upkeep is difficult in our area with annual drought. In summer our cattle stay inside and need to be fed with dry ricegrass and feed mix for four months till the rains start in July.
The consequence of the above is the heavy loss of indigenous cattle which are drought and disease resistant, who are also very useful for agricultural work and who are the producers of valuable uncontaminated manure for compost and urine for Ayurvedic medicine.
Farming with local cattle is the only possibility to avoid slaughter.
Our History with Cattle Rescue
Old cows are able to die a natural and peaceful death at Karuna
Since 2002, Karuna Society has rescued over 500 cattle from illegal transport to slaughterhouses.
Since 2003, more than 200 rescued working bulls have been given for adoption to the local farmers under strict legal conditions.
The illegal cattle market at Gorantla, where there was no responsible authority was stopped by Karuna’s activities. The market had turned into a centre for illegal cattle trade and cruelty.
The High Court has given permanent custody of 305 cattle rescued by Karuna Society. The remaining cases are under trial.
Adoption of Indian Working Bulls to Local Farmers
We are concentrating on the Indian Zebu cattle under our care and we are planning to give young healthy, castrated bulls to the local farmer for adoption under legal conditions and payment of a refundable security.
When the animal is returned, after hopefully many years of service, the farmer will receive back his initial amount. The cows will stay at Karuna as we do not want to give cows with offspring for milking to the local people as they will resort to old malpractices.
In the course of time, there will be more Karuna bulls in the villages and fewer bulls that can be sent to slaughter as they have to be returned to Karuna.
We will starve the local cattle market of animals instead of fighting the butchers. At the same time we will have some influence on the local farmers, educating them about being more involved in organic farming, proper composting, biogas production etc. and hopefully waste management.