Chennai: The boom in the leather industry is leading to an increase in the illegal and unethical transport of cattle to slaughter houses. Poor enforcement of laws that prevent cruelty to animals is contributing to the situation, say animal rights groups.
The illegal transport of cattle from Northern and Central Indian states via Andhra Pradesh to Tamil Nadu and Kerala has been going on for a while now. But it is flourishing now due to the rising demand for hides in the leather industry and in the absence of proper law enforcement, says Prema Veeradasan, coordinator, People for Animals (PfA). The leather industry is one of the top 10 export sectors in India and fetches $2 billion (Rs8,8 00 crore) annually,
Another disturbing trend is the presence of more and more milching cows, pregnant cows and calves stacked up in trucks bound for slaughter houses, says Dr Chinni Krishna, chairman, The Blue Cross of India.
“If this trend is to continue, a few years down the line, we won’t see any cattle head in the street,” says Veeradasan.
“Only a few days back, the police helped us intercept a truck going to Kerala from Andhra Pradesh, carrying 29 buffaloes. Many of the animals in the truck were found to be pregnant,” says Shiranee Pereira of PfA.
According to Krishna, a minimum 600 such illegally loaded trucks ply daily through the highways of Tamil Nadu. “All the essential laws are there in our country, but every single law is broken in the transport of cattle,” said Krishna.