Animal Rahat had another big achievement recently: the most successful endeavor yet in its yearly relief efforts during the four-day Chinchali Fair, an annual goddess festival that causes great hardship for bullocks and other animals. As you know, traveling to the fair is a marathon of misery for thousands of bullocks, ponies, and horses who are forced to run for two days straight—for distances between 100 and 250 kilometers—hauling carts packed with large families.
After months of careful planning, the Animal Rahat team accomplished the following:
- Successfully engaged the participation of the local police to ensure enforcement of anti-cruelty laws
- Set up three mandatory rest camps along the most heavily traveled routes with food and clean drinking water for animals—police required travelers to stop and rest their animals
- Hired performers to stage street plays in advance of the fair to show how using Animal Rahat’s buses would prevent animals from suffering
- Supplied 16 free buses to take families in eight villages to and from the fair, sparing 544 bullocks the harrowing trip
- Recruited government veterinarians and local volunteers to bolster the team’s efforts
- Gave medical treatment to animals suffering from wounds, dehydration, lameness, and other conditions
- Placed educational banners along the most traveled routes and around the fair site to educate people about animal welfare issues, such as that it is illegal to hitch bullocks and horses together (their gaits are too different, and a horse’s neck can’t sustain the weight of the yoke)
- Detained carts that illegally paired ponies and bullocks and made sure that the ponies were taken home and replaced with bullocks
- Provided horses and ponies with a sand bath area—they like to roll in sand to stretch their muscles, ease the irritation of drying sweat, and gain a layer of protection against biting insects.
- Helped to repair carts whose defects were hurting the animals who pulled them
- Distributed hundreds of morkees to replace painful nose ropes
- Confiscated yoke spikes—illegal devices that stab bullocks on their necks and faces if they step too far to the side
- Gave children specially made brochures containing a fun game with animal welfare lessons
- Commissioned musicians and dancers to convey animal welfare messages through performances at the fair
- Stopped an illegal horse race that was going to take place en route to the fair
As a result of this work, the suffering of thousands of bullocks, horses, and ponies was alleviated.