British Mps To Indian Government:

For Immediate Release:
22nd November, 2000

Andrew Butler 020 8870 3966


London – Dr Ashok Kumar, Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, has tabled an Early Day Motion in the British Parliament highlighting the appalling suffering of cows, bullocks and buffaloes during transport to Indian slaughterhouses. Over-crowding and injury have become the norm, due to the burgeoning trade in meat and skins for export. Dr Kumar, a steadfast supporter of animal rights, was upset by the plight of these gentle creatures after reading a report from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

The report details the routine overloading of cattle onto rickety lorries, which career at breakneck speeds down pitted roads and across state borders to the country’s few legal slaughterhouses – many animals arriving gouged by others’ horns, crushed or suffocated to death. Cattle are also forced to march for hundreds of miles from town markets in Orissa and Tamil Nadu to state borders, and are denied even a drop of water or any rest en route. Cows who collapse from injury or exhaustion have tobacco or chili peppers rubbed into their eyes by the transporters trying to force them to stand and walk on.

This appalling abuse directly contravenes the Indian Constitution, which prohibits the slaughter of milk cows, calves, and working cattle — a law now completely ignored — and the Indian Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, which mandates that all animals receive humane treatment. PETA has charged that the police regularly take bribes to look the other way as injured cattle are beaten and abused, and points out that sorely needed amendments to the Act continue to languish on the Prime Minister’s desk. International appeals continue to pour in to the Indian consulate from all over the world.

Since being tabled by Dr Kumar on Monday, the EDM has already gained the backing of many other British MPs, and it is expected that many more will lend their support.

Broadcast quality footage of PETA’s investigation into the Indian cattle trade is available on request. Further information on the campaign can be obtained at and the full wording of the EDM can be viewed on the government Web site: