DRAVIDIAN TRAFFICKERS AND BEEF'S OWN COUNTRY
By BR Haran from Chennai
On Thursday the 11th of October, early in the morning at 5.30 am, a truck from Andhra Pradesh carrying two dozen cattle (cows, buffalos and oxen), bound for Kerala, met with an accident at a place called Maraimalai Nagar, some 30 kms from Chennai. The cattle were not visible as they were covered completely with tarpaulin. Local people informed Blue Cross of India after noticing blood oozing out from the truck. Blue Cross staff rushed to the spot and took the cattle to their shelter after registering a police complaint.
Two cows died in the accident and half a dozen cattle were seriously injured. Four personnel (all from Andhra Pradesh), who travelled in the truck were also seriously injured and hospitalised. Police took immediate action and brought the owner of the truck to book. He is cooling his heels in the prison now.
Dawn Williams, General Manager of Blue Cross, said, "I rushed to the spot and found only one vehicle AP16TB 9529 standing off the road after meeting with an accident. There was a crane trying to toe the vehicle away. I stopped the crane and climbed into the vehicle that was covered with tarpaulin. After removing the tarpaulin I found all the cattle hanging from the ropes that were tied around their necks almost getting strangled. Along with volunteer Mr. Surjit I had to cut the ropes and set them free. There were cattle with head injuries, cut wounds and cattle that were not able to get to their feet. Two of the cattle died. They were sent to Madras Veterinary College for an autopsy."
Truck loads of cattle (cows, calves, buffalos, buffalo calves and oxen) being trafficked to Kerala is a common sight in Tamil Nadu. Cattle not only from Tamil Nadu, but also from Andhra Pradesh, South Odisha and even Maharashtra are being trafficked 24X7.
While the transportation from Tamil Nadu to Kerala takes only a night or two, the transportation of cattle from other states, mentioned above, takes between four and seven days. During the entire journey they are starved without food and water. When the available space in a truck can hold only seven to eight cattle, not less than 30 to 40 cattle, with front legs and neck tied, are tightly packed and transported without food and water. They are not provided space to move even a little bit!