Motor vehicles used for transportation of live stock by road needs to be in accordance with the specification of the Bureau of Indian Standards. “It shall have permanent partitions in the body of the vehicle so that the animals are carried individually in each partition where the size of partition shall not be less than the following - cows and buffaloes: 2 square metres, horse and mares: 2.2 sq.m, sheep and goat: 0.3 sq.m, pig 0.6 sq.m and poultry: 40 square centimetres”, says the rule.
No motor vehicle meant for carrying animals is permitted to carry any other goods. The regional transport officer is supposed to issue special licences for motor vehicles meant for carrying vehicles on the basis of vehicles modified in accordance with the provisions. These two are the part of the rules issued by the Union Government for transporting animals. Existence of these rules was well known to the officials of both the transport and animal husbandry departments. No rules are being followed by the authorities in transporting the sheep from the neighbouring States while implementing the Sheep Distribution programme, the flagship scheme of the Telangana State Government.
Eight sheep died due to suffocation at Kangti mandal on June 25 as they were forced to travel about 400 KM without proper arrangement. According to veterinary doctor Mustaq Ali of Kangti, the sheep died due to suffocation. A total of 12 units (240 sheep and 12 rams) were transported in two lorries whereas it was stated that the capacity of each lorry was not more than three units.
“The sheep will die in stamping and that is why the specifications were mentioned by the Union Government. But, the transport contractors were not ready to take suggested number of sheep in their vehicles stating that it was not financially viable. They are coming forward only if we arrange five units for transport in each lorry,” said an animal husbandry official.