Shri Dholaka Teerth

State fails to stop trafficking of camels from Rajasthan


CHENNAI: Answers to an RTI petition show that poor coordination between various government departments has resulted in the state failing to prevent trafficking of camels, mostly from Rajasthan, to Tamil Nadu.

In response to an RTI application filed by an animal rights activist, Corporation of Chennai, the public health department and the transport department all said no camels were brought for slaughter to Chennai during 2014. By contrast, the state police said 29 camels were brought to Chennai and illegally slaughtered that year.

People For Cattle in India trustee G Arun Prasanna said various groups bring camels to Chennai around Bakrid and Muharram. They are slaughtered in unauthorised butchers' shops, mostly in the Washermanpet locality.

"The RTI reply confirmed that there is a huge gap between the regulatory bodies and the enforcement departments when it comes to preventing the trafficking of camels," Prasanna said.

According to the rules, camels can be slaughtered only in licensed slaughterhouses under the supervision of a veterinarian, he said. "The corporation said it does not have any facilities for the slaughter of camels, but the animals are still brought to the city and illegally butchered for consumption," Prasanna said. "Camel numbers are rapidly declining in the country."

Animal activists say groups involved in animal trafficking bring camels to the state mostly from Rajasthan, but some of the animals are also from Haryana and Gujarat. "They make the animals walk most of the way or bring them to the state in cramped vehicles. A large number of camels are often stuffed into a single truck, with their legs tied together, without food or water on a tip that lasts several days," an activist said.

Prasanna said the health of the camels is not checked before slaughter, which could lead to diseases being passed on to those who consume the meat.