The photo below marks a day of great relief for this bullock, as an Animal Rahat veterinarian cuts the nose rope that has tormented him since he was a calf. Last month, Animal Rahat persuaded the owners of 21 bullocks, cows, and buffaloes to stop using nose ropes—which constantly tug at and sometimes even tear through the animals’ sensitive nostrils—and switch to more comfortable face halters called “morkees.”
The use of nose ropes is a longstanding, disgusting tradition that will take ages to end, but over the years, we’ve influenced thousands of owners to use morkees instead. And as more and more people see others using them successfully, the number of morkee users will continue to grow.
The calf above represents a whole new generation of animals who, thanks to Animal Rahat, will be spared many of the horrors that bullocks have endured for countless centuries. First, he was painlessly castrated by our vets. Until recently, the process by which bulls were sterilized included roughly casting them to the ground, binding all four of their legs together, and crushing their testes—without any pain relief. Although Animal Rahat and other organizations succeeded in getting this method of castration legally banned two years ago, it’s still widely practiced. Even government veterinarians refuse to make the switch to more humane methods—something we’re working very hard to change.
We also saw huge progress with the Sangola Nagarparishad Market Yard, where more than 7,000 bullocks and other animals are sold every Sunday. Thanks to Animal Rahat’s influence and guidance, the market is implementing measures to make the ordeal less cruel, including installing water stations, building loading ramps (so the bullocks aren’t injured when they’re forced to jump from truck beds), and building permanent structures to provide shade from the burning sun—all of which you can see are underway in the photo above.
In addition to a painless sterilization, our vets procured a promise from the calf’s owner never to use a nose rope. The number of bullocks in India who’ve never known the pain of a nose rope is still minuscule, but the seeds of change are starting to bear fruit!