April 2009 update: For the love of India's cows – VSPCA rescue victory
VSPCA is celebrating an extraordinary rescue of over 50 young cattle who had been destined for a gruseome and illegal slaughter in India's underground meat market.
We used to rescue cows all the time; that's how we acquired the 650+ in our care. The result is we are so overcrowded only an extreme emergency like this can compel us to rescue more.
Before we get into the disturbing details, let's start with the happy ending.
Above is a victory group picture of the emaciated cows after their all-night rescue and our staff flush with pride.
Here, the rescued cows lap up the nutrient-enriched food they needed just to make the journey to our shelter.
Some of the cows were too weak to feed themselves and required special medicine from our staff.
Here, the rescued cows graze in peace at the VSPCA shelter, regaining their strength.
That's the happy ending. What follows are the disturbing and sometimes graphic details of how the rescue came about. If you'd rather skip this part, please consider visiting our website right now to help feed and rehabilitate these wonderful animals.
The events: VSCPA President Pradeep Nath was tipped off about an illegal slaughterhouse in our vicinity. Because cow slaughter is illegal in this part of India, there are no "humane slaughter" regulations. The result is appalling. In this slaughterhouse, the standard operating procedure was to starve the cows until they were so weak they could easily be dispatched with nothing but a saw.
We alerted the police who helped us rescue the cows. The slaughterhouse owners were never found but the managers were questions and covered up for them. This is the same situation in many places unfortunately and therefore it's difficult to prosecute these crimes. It took us all night to very carefully tend to and load every cow that was fit enough to make it to our shelter. Sadly, of the 68 we rescued, ten died of starvation or dehydration. We have since adopted out 10. Of the 48 still here, 12 are suffering from foot and mouth disease but they are recovering since we are very experienced with this disease. We are treating all these poor animals with very special care.
Here, in pictures, is how they got here. This is a shot of the slaughterhouse grounds before the rescue...
Here, during the rescue, one of the severely weakened cows is very carefully lifted by our team...
If you would like more details and photos, please ask us. Meanwhile, please help us give these wonderful cows a new lease on life with your generous contribution, however large or small. We would be so grateful, as would this happy cow from our shelter. With your help, all of the slaughterhouse survivors can be as healthy and content as she is.
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On behalf of Pradeep Nath and all at VSPCA,
VSPCA global outreach