Official worried about decline in donkey population in Andhra Pradesh, blames 'misconception'
- Dr Dhanalakshmi, the director of the state’s animal husbandry department said that under FSSAI rules, consumption of donkey's meat is illegal.
Official worried about decline in donkey population in Andhra Pradesh, says 'misconception' reason for it
The population of donkey in Andhra Pradesh has declined rapidly in the last four to five years, Dr Dhanalakshmi, assistant director of the state’s animal husbandry department, told news agency ANI on Wednesday.
“From 10,161 in 2012 to 4,678 in 2019, there has been a vast decline in donkeys' population in the last 4-5 years,” ANI said, quoting her.
The director said there’s a “misconception” that donkey meat acts as an aphrodisiac which leads to their illegal slaughter. She also warned that consumption of donkey meat violates the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) norms.
“People should know that under FSSAI, donkey consumption is illegal,” said Dr Dhanalakshmi.
The district of Prakasam continues to practise their ancient ritual of donkey slaughter. Dr Dhanalakshmi told ANI that “maximum complaints of illegal slaughtering of donkeys have been received from districts of Prakasam, Krishna, West Godavari, and Guntur,”.
Illegal slaughter of this domesticated animal has been a constant issue in Andhra Pradesh - the state even released orders in the past against slaughter and consumption of donkeys.
The illegal slaughter of donkeys for consumption is a violation of Section 11 in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, which amongst other provisions deems it illegal to “beat, kick, over-ride, over-drives, over-load, torture or otherwise treats any animal so as to subject it to unnecessary pain or suffering or causes or, being the owner permits, any animals to be so treated,”.
It is also a punishable offence under Section 429 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), which states, “Mischief by killing or maiming cattle, etc., of any value or any animal of the value of fifty rupees. Whoever commits mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless, any elephant, camel, horse, mule, buffalo, bull, cow or ox, whatever may be the value thereof, or any other animal of the value of fifty rupees or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both,”
(With agency inputs)