KURNOOL: Cattle traders in Kurnool district make their livestock swim between Somasila in Kollapur region of Nagarkurnool district and Siddheswaram in Kothapalle area of Kurnool to save on time and transportation costs. There is criticism that this practice is cruel in nature and hugely hurting the cows.
Traders say it takes only 40 minutes of ferrying to cover a three km distance while the road takes 200 km.
Cows and other bovines are tied to a motorized boat and pulled through the water with their heads held above. During the arduous journey, the bovine pack suffers by way of jostling with each other, hits from pointed horns, and entwining of feet while paddling on the water. All these result in bruises by the time the cows reach the shore, a trader said.
The Musalimadugu (crocodile marsh) area near Siddheswaram is the hub of cattle trade, to where bovines came from Somasila and Telkapally on the other side of the river in Telangana state. Dozens of families are in the business of animal meat trade for decades, said Narasimha, an Atmakur resident.
A boat operator said that, in this operation, one has to tie his cattle to the boat before boarding. The animal will then follow the boat in the water. This is risky. There are times the animals are attacked by crocodiles. Sometimes, water volumes swell and turn dangerous.
“This is the worst form of cruelty against animals,” said Janardhan, an animal rights activist. There are instances of cattle dying while being pulled through the boats as they failed to breathe properly and swam up against the rising tide, he said.
Recently, the Kollapur police in Nagarkurnool district filed 12 bind-over cases and the matter was referred to a special probe team. But no case has been filed so far in Kurnool district. DSP of Atmakur Y Shruti said she would take up the matter with the higher-ups.
Crossing of River Krishna is banned by the Government of Andhra Pradesh following the Godavari river boat tragedy. Only tourism boats are allowed to do so. But private boat operators use the river to cross between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh states on the Somasila-Sidheswaram route....