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Andhra police crack down on donkey slaughter in 3 districts, seize 800 kg meat, rescue 100 animals in 2 months

Donkey meat, which is almost as expensive as mutton, has long been consumed in several areas of the three districts as it is believed to have healing properties.

In at least a dozen raids since October 1, police have seized donkey meat from several slaughterhouses and rescued scores of the animals. (Representational image)

Over the last two months, police in Bapatla, Guntur and Prakasam districts of Andhra Pradesh have seized more than 800 kg of donkey meat and rescued at least 100 donkeys kept for slaughter.

Donkey meat, which is almost as expensive as mutton, has long been consumed in several areas of the three districts as it is believed to have healing properties.

Its consumption is illegal under the Food Safety Act, 2006. The slaughter of the animal violates Section 429 of the IPC and is punishable by a jail term of up to five years, a fine, or both.

Recently, activists from the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) lodged complaints, leading to the police raids.

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In at least a dozen raids since October 1, police have seized donkey meat from several slaughterhouses and rescued scores of the animals.

According to Bapatla Superintendent of Police Vakul Jindal, the animals were being slaughtered in unhygienic conditions. He said the animals were being purchased and brought from Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Police officials said the animal’s meat was in demand owing to age-old beliefs that consuming it alleviates health issues such as joint pain. “Even though it can cost up to Rs 600-700 per kg, there is a big market. The slaughter takes place in rudimentary tents in the most unhygienic conditions,” one official said.

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On November 20, police, with the help of PETA and SPCA activists, conducted one of the biggest raids of its nature in Ongole — seizing 500 kg of donkey meat and rescuing over 30 animals. Police in the three districts have so far arrested over 20 people allegedly involved in the illegal slaughter and sale.

SPCA volunteers said donkey meat is sold openly at several places on the Ongole-Vijayawada highway, and even in the cities of Bapatla and Ongole.

First published on: 30-11-2022 at 20:36 IST
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