As many as 49 cattle, tied neck-to-neck and overloaded in two lorries, were rescued by revenue officials in a late night raid here on Monday.

Based on information that cattle were being transported in a ‘most cruel’ manner, Collector K. Maharabushanam deputed Tahsildar (Salem) Suresh to check vehicles on Salem — Ulundurpet National Highways between Udayapatti power house and Seelanaickenpatti bypass.

Around 11.30 p.m., officials found 23 cattle being transported in a vehicle from Vellore to be taken to abattoirs in Kerala. After 15 minutes, revenue officials found another vehicle with 26 cattle being taken to Minnampalli shandy here for auctioning.

They found the horns of the cattle goring each other. The animals were bruised due to overcrowding and their heads were hanging out of the vehicle. One of the animals had suffered serious injuries while being transported.

Officials from Animal Husbandry department let out the cattle from the vehicles and tied to them to nearby trees. A case was registered under Section 11 (1) (d) (conveys or carries, whether in or upon any vehicle or not, any animal in such a manner or position as to subject it to unnecessary pain or suffering), 11 (e) (keeps or confines any animal in any cage or other receptacle which does not measure sufficiently in height, length and breadth to permit the animal a reasonable opportunity for movement) and 11 (1) (f) (keeps for an unreasonable time any animal chained or tethered upon an unreasonably short or unreasonably heavy chain or cord) of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

The drivers of the vehicles, Selvakumar and Murugan, were produced before the magistrate who levied a fine of Rs. 300 each and warned them. Later they were allowed to transport only six to eight cattle in the vehicle.

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