In the next 1-2 years, transporting animals such as cattle, poultry and others in inhuman condition for trading or business won’t be allowed. Responding to demands of animal rights activists including Maneka Gandhi, government has started preparing specifications for vehicles that will be allowed to transport livestock. At present, there is no norm for transporting animals including goats, cattle and poultry in India and hence the transporters take little or no care of the livestock in transit.
“A couple of animal activities wrote to the government to ensure that animals are taken care of when they are transported. The issue was discussed at Central Motor Vehicles Rules-Technical Standing Committee (CMVR-TSC) and it was decided to come out with a code for vehicles engaged in transportation of animals,” said a senior road transport ministry official. He added that the focus will be on defining the density of animals vis-a-vis vehicle space and provision for water and fodder in the vehicles. “But a lot will depend on the enforcement at local level.
Only announcing a code for such vehicles is not enough,” the official said. Countries including Australia and United Kingdom have specific norms. While there is Australian animal welfare standards and guidelines for land transport of livestock, UK has special welfare regulations for “live transport”. In Australia, the standards apply to all those responsible for the care and management of livestock that are transported, including drivers, transport companies, owners, agents and livestock handlers at farming enterprises, depots, saleyards, feedlots and livestockprocessing plants.
The guidelinesinclude space allowance on the vehicle, timing of water, feed andrest before transport and at unloading vehicle and facility design and maintenance. “Since some countries have standard guidelines, we will refer to them,”the ministry official said.