|Wednesday, June 14, 2000,
Animals painful journey
FAR from the citadel of powers, while spending hassle-free days in delighting lush green grassy meadows of Manali, Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee got concerned about the manner in which animals were being transported for slaughter and the mode of slaughter (The Tribune, June 5). He was compassionate enough to write to all Chief Ministers to initiate steps for the enforcement of the existing laws for more humane treatment to animals in collaboration with NGOs. He is the first Prime Minister of India to do this.
The issue of live transport for slaughter has concerned all of us in the animal welfare movement for a long time. Transporters are victimising the animals during transportation. Live animals destined to various slaughter houses are jammed into the trucks without the slightest consideration to the freedom of movement. Some of them die due to asphyxia.
The animals are rarely offered food, water and rest on their long journeys. The prescribed time limit of only eight hours continuous journey is ignored. Properly trained drivers to transport animals are not considered essential. They are treated as if they are lifeless. As many as 70 to 80 sheep and goats and more than six cattle are jampacked into each truck for several hours, thus making them vulnerable to laceration, fractures and eye injuries. The unloading of these animals by labourers of transporters present a horrendous scene. From the side of the trucks the half dead animals are thrown off on the ground with utter disregard to the safety of their limbs and flesh. The animals are crammed into the rail wagons where the facilities to be provided are totally lacking.
|Under the Transport of Animals Rules,
1978, the average space per cattle in a railway wagon or
truck should not be less than two square metres. Cattle
are to be loaded after they are properly fed and given
water. There should be enough stock of fodder and water
in the wagon. During day-time they should be unloaded,
rested, and given water and feed. As far as possible,
they should be moved during night hours.
The animals to be slaughtered are kept in waiting in the most inhumane manner. They are not fed, watered and protected from inclement weather. While one animal is slaughtered the other keeps watching his companion. The instruments used for slaughtering are primitive, blunt and sometimes rusted. Inhuman slaughter method needs to be rectified.
All animals need to be stunned before slaughter. In spite of all the rules and regulations for the transport of live animals and their slaughter, the animals are still being transported in the most degrading manner.
Significance of tunnel
The editorial Tunnel is essential (June 6) pleaded the states/nations case not only for a tunnel across the Rohtang mountain pass but also for widening and proper upkeep of the strategic Kiratpur-Mandi-Manali national highway. It was appreciable also for taking just due notice neither overplaying nor underplaying of the Prime Ministers pertinent announcement on the subject.
The tunnel in question is important from several angles, the countrys defence being above all. The sooner the project is executed, the better for the country at large. Furthermore, the Kiratpur-Mandi-Manali national highway must be extended upto Leh as warranted by the larger national interest.
Finally, the crucial question: who will bear the cost of the ambitious project? Well, to my mind, it (the cost) must be borne by the Centre failing which, obviously enough, the desideratum would remain a far cry.
Environment: missing awareness
As in the past this year also, there were rallies, workshops, training programmes, seminars and free camps to check vehicular pollution to mark World Environment Day. But we cannot ignore certain other realities. Most of the time World Environment Day functions turn out to be a formality. There is need for extra efforts to be done in the direction of proper implementation of environment-related schemes and awareness programmes among people.
Pollution, which is caused mainly by industries and vehicles, has become a serious threat to our environment. Growing population, continuous construction of buildings, unauthorised constructions, the decrease in forest cover and the growing number of vehicles in the country are the major causes of pollution. Eye and skin infection. TB and asthma are some of the diseases that are caused by pollution.
However, today our government has suddenly become very serious with regard to the environment. Hoardings can be seen at many places which alert the people to save the environment. But due to the lack of will-power environment related schemes have not been implemented properly.
SUNIL K. DOGRA
This has reference to the article Management and medical services (June 7) by Dr. R.P. Sapru. The author has rightly pointed out the cause of the ailment in the health services in the public sector.
As pointed out by him the fall in the standards is because of the fall in the standards everywhere, in all sectors.
The disappearance of moral values and corruption is the root cause of the fall in the standards everywhere. The administration, the police, education, sports and all other departments are suffering from corruption, and health is no exception.
We get irritated when we do not get justice from any other department, may be police or health, forgetting the very fact that we are a part of the same system. Only hard decisions at the top can improve things in all sectors, including health.
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