Around 750 kilograms of donkey meat was seized and 36 donkeys were rescued from Guntur and Prakasam districts of Andhra Pradesh by police in a joint operation with animal rights NGO PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Illegal donkey slaughter has been rampant in the region for ages due to a blind faith that milk, meat and blood of donkeys have medicinal value.
PETA representative Gopal Surabathula told News18 that there is a superstition in the area that one can build a steel-like body if they consume donkey milk and meat and then run till the food is totally digested.
“The demand for donkey meat was increased due to this superstition. Some people with vested interests have been selling donkey meat at a cost of Rs 700 to Rs 800 per kg," he said.
Though selling donkey meat and illegal transportation of donkeys is a crime, some people are illegally importing donkeys to Andhra Pradesh from other states.
Surabathula also said that there is also a myth that asthma patients can be cured with donkey milk, which was being sold at Rs 10,000 per litre. He clarified it has been scientifically proved that there are no medicinal values in the blood, milk and meat of the donkey.
The PETA member has said that recent statistics suggest that the donkey population has declined in the past one decade. The PETA has requested authorities to put an end to the killing of donkeys in the name of medicinal values.
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