Bullocks—also known as “oxen” in some parts of the world—are among the most abused working animals in India, and helping them is a major part of Animal Rahat’s work. Bullocks are commonly used for backbreaking tasks like pulling carts piled high with up to 4 tons of sugarcane or other goods like metal pipes and cinderblocks. Sometimes, they’re forced to haul such loads on busy city streets filled with traffic and exhaust. To make them be more obedient or move faster, the bullocks are tortured with whips, nose ropes, and other devices that cause pain and injury, like yoke spikes.
Animal Rahat is determined to give bullocks a better life. The group partners with local law enforcement to inspect carts on their way to sugarcane factories, confiscate illegal torture devices, and intervene when wanton abuse is spotted. Team members hold numerous workshops and demonstrations on topics such as grooming and painless castration to teach people in the community how to reduce bullocks’ suffering. They also provide the animals with medical treatment and even arrange emergency retirement for them—and some retired bullocks come to live at one of Animal Rahat’s two sanctuaries.