BHOPAL: Draught animals in Gwalior district of Madhya Pradesh will have respite from carting goods and passengers under the scorching afternoon sun for the next two and half months.
In a move which is perhaps the first of its kind initiative in the country to save draught animals from the blistering heat wave, the Gwalior district administration has issued orders prohibiting animals from being used for carting and transportation purposes in the district in the afternoon hours.
According to Gwalior district collector Rahul Jain, the order which will be effective from May 1 to July 15, pertains to strictly not allowing draught animals to work between 12 pm and 4 pm.
“The order has been issued under the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 which prohibit use of animals for carting and transportation during scorching heat. The order has been issued to ensure safety of draught animals in the district which is presently experiencing 40 degree Celsius-plus temperatures. If we can take effective measures for the safety and health of people from the intense heat, then the safety of animals from the rising mercury too is of equal concern to us,” Jain told The New Indian Express on Saturday.
The order prohibiting use of draught animals for powering/pulling vehicles to cart commodities as well as passengers will be applicable to all such animals, including bulls, male-buffaloes, horses, mules and donkeys, added Jain.
“We’ve asked the district police, animal husbandry department, local bodies and all other concerned department to ensure that the order is implemented on the ground fully and those violating it are dealt in accordance of the penal provisions relating to cruelty to animals,” the Gwalior collector said.
Violation of the district administration order could lead to punishment which includes fine, imprisonment or both.