Thiruvananthapuram: A global signature campaign against Kerala Tourism has been launched using videos and stills showing brutal killings of animals in various parts of the state.
The campaign, titled ‘Boycott Kerala Tourism to Save Animals,’ has the backing of FIAPO (Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations).
The campaign which began a week ago has already amassed 40,070 signatures, most of them from European countries.
The most shocking video is an eight-minute one showing the skilled butchering of a live turtle by locals.
The turtle, its belly up, is dragged out of a swamp using a rope.
A long machete is used to clinically carve out the soft yellowish underside.
Its two pairs of flippers beat about wildly as the lower skin is sawed along the oval edges of the amphibian to reveal the bloody entrails.
The flippers never stop flailing even when each of the amphibian’s internal organs is sliced out.
“The expertise with which the turtle is dismembered is proof that such killings are routine,” said M.N. Jayachandran, secretary of the Idukki unit of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
There are also videos, still photographs and newspaper clippings of elephant, dog and rabbit torture.
The objective is to shock discerning tourists by offering a disgusting contrast to the 'photoshop'-enhanced images popularised by Kerala Tourism.
Suparna Ganguly of FIAPO acknowledged that she had indeed “group posted” the campaign site through FIAPO’s mail.
But even she is unaware of the origin of the campaign. “I too am curious about the people who started the campaign. I supported it because I felt the issue raised was genuine and significant,” she said.
Suparna said that Kerala fared poorly in animal welfare. “The authorities in Kerala are blind and blank to the problem,” she said.
“Kerala is one place from where we receive the most number of distress mails and calls from animal lovers. There is absolutely no monitoring and no place to revert to when an animal is in distress,” she said.