Hyderabad – Today, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India held a press conference to share the findings of its new undercover investigation into the illegal slaughter of donkeys and the sale of their meat in Andhra Pradesh. PETA India recently visited Ongole, Tadepalle, Vijayawada, Chirala, and Bapatla and documented the following:
Butchers slitting donkeys’ throats on roadsides, under flyovers, and behind makeshift stalls
Adults forcing children into helping with illegal slaughter, exposing them to blood, and desensitising them to violence Stray dogs consuming leftover donkey meat, skins, and offal dumped in the open Merchants selling prohibited donkey meat in full public view; a police officer purchasing the meat instead of taking legal action recorded on video The transport of donkeys late at night in order to evade the police, reaching slaughter sites early in the morning Video evidence and a copy of PETA India’s investigation report can be found here.
PETA India notes that its discoveries recently led to a joint operation with the Bapatla police and Animal Rescue Organisation, Help for Animals Society, and East Godavari SPCA to seize over 400 kilograms of donkey meat. Donkey meat is sold in the state based on bogus, unscientific health and benefit claims made by butchers.
“Donkeys are smart, sensitive animals who do not want to die, yet they are being hacked apart on roadsides, sometimes even by children, to fuel the demand created by myths,” says PETA India Manager of Vegan Projects Dr Kiran Ahuja. “Doctors advise eating plant-based food, not meat, for those looking for health benefits. After all, vegans are at reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and certain types of cancer. A meat-heavy diet can lead to erectile dysfunction.”
In India, killing and eating donkeys – whose population has declined 61% in a seven-year period – violates a number of laws. Donkey slaughter violates Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and is punishable with a jail term of up to five years, a fine, or both. Killing donkeys is also an offence under Section 11(1)(a) and (l) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. Consumption of donkey meat is illegal under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, and slaughtering animals in public places is banned under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughter House) Rules, 2001.