Karuna’s Cattle Rescue Project
“Cow slaughter is repugnant to the culture of this country. The provision of drinking water to the people and putting an end to the killing of animals for food are two prime needs for the country to regain its pristine glory, VIOLENCE IN ANY FORM IS EVIL AND TO KILL INNOCENT ANIMALS IS NOTHING OTHER THAN BLATANT SAVAGERY. “ Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
COWS AND BUFFALO IN INDIA
Originally, in India, milk was not the most important product from the cow. Cows and bulls were used in fields and their dung and urine were used to make compost, medicine and other health products. Only the little extra milk left from the cow after feeding her calf was used by the family who owned the cow.
At present, cows and buffaloes are reduced to production units for milk and meat. Cow slaughter is becoming more accepted and practiced in spite of it being illegal in India.
The Andhra Pradesh Prohibition of Cow Slaughter and Animal Preservation Act 1977
(11 of1977) An act to provide for the prohibition of slaughter of cows, calves of cows and calves of she buffaloes and for preservation ………
….no person shall slaughter or cause to be slaughtered, or offer or cause to be offered for slaughter, or otherwise intentionally kill, or offer, or cause to be offered for killing any cow or calf, whether male or female or a she-buffalo.
It is our aim to restore the partnership between humans and cows. Our long-term objective is to put an end to all slaughter of cattle and to improve the conditions of local farmers through sustainable agriculture/organic farming and the use of all cow by- products (not milk).
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.
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
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.