Project management

 Pradeep K., founder VSPCA  Krishna Veni, CRPI action team  Sri Devi, CRPI action team

Pradeep K., Founder VSPCA
Krishna Veni, action team
Sri Devi, action team

The CRPI - Cattle Respect Programme India

The CRPI logo

The Cattle Respect Programme India is run by two NGOs following a similar approach: both our focus is "on the ground". Animals’ Angels is the leading expert organisation regarding animal transport – the VSPCA the leading animal welfare organisation in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Both of us are working with national governments and their advisory groups, veterinary associations, police forces, and other authorities.

However, the main focus of both our work is always "on the ground":  Our investigators are on the roads, in slaughterhouses, at markets and on farms. Our investigators are also the ones who produce accurate reports about their findings and who travel to government meetings and conferences. The strength of the CRPI is that we are only reporting what we have seen with our own eyes – which makes us experts in our field and powerful advocates for the animals.

How to create change for cattle in India?

To achieve sustainable change today we believe it is necessary and vital to include all stakeholders on a local, national/state, and global level:

Today's cattle farming is a GLOBAL business: the products such as milk and beef are not only for the domestic market but exported and, therefore, transported onto the world market. Furthermore, on dairy farms and markets pure indigenous cattle breeds are retreating and exotic cattle breeds or cross-bred cattle are a common sight (import of "breeding" animals, semen, or embryos), especially Holstein-Friesians from North-America and Europe and Jersey cattle from New Zealand.

The main reasons are hopes for higher milk yields (Holstein and Jersey) and a higher fat content of the milk (Jersey). The effect of such breeds, used to cooler, temperate climates, being farmed in hotter countries adds additional, new problems for cattle. They are more prone to succumb to heat exhaustion and disease by finding it difficult to adapt to the hot conditions, especially if not cared for and maintained properly.  Cross-breeding, for example, the Australian Friesian Sahiwal cow, is becoming increasingly popular in South East Asia: the goal being higher mild yields (Friesian) while local cattle (Sahiwal) are used that are more robust and able to cope with the heat and local diseases.

However, it is still NATIONAL and STATE governments who pass laws on trade of agricultural products as well as on the protection of farm animals within their countries and are responsible for their enforcement.

Finally, it is the LOCAL level where the consequences of global and national developments can be witnessed on farms, animal transport, and in slaughterhouses. Local farmers are directly affected by world market prices – and try to compete.

1. Local

a) Field Investigations
b) Awareness and Education Camps in Villages
c) Training of and Joint Inspections with Local Authorities

a) Field Investigations

The fuel that keeps our project running is our mission “to be with the animals”. Animals’ Angels is visiting India every 3 – 6 months. A crucial part of these visits are field investigations. We inspect keeping methods at cattle farms as well as cattle markets and the condition of animals being transported. In addition, we are in communication with farmers, truck drivers and other representatives of the farming industry allowing us to attain further insights and an in-depth understanding of the issues concerned.

Scale and scope:
Animals’ Angels visits India every 3 – 6 months and conducts field investigations. CRPI Team is working in the field 12 months/year.

b) Awareness and Education Camps in Villages

In India, cattle farmers and villagers are often closing their eyes to the cruel treatment their animals are facing once they are sold. Some farmers for example believe - or want to/pretend to believe - their male calves will either be taken to shelters or will be used for working in the fields after being sold. In reality the male calves are transported in horrendous conditions for several days to slaughterhouses.

The CRPI established Awareness and Education Camps. The CRPI Team visits up to 3 villages every week. Using photos and knowledge gathered during field investigations, we have produced leaflets and brochures explaining and expressing the reality of animal transport and slaughter in India. The team hands out information material, answers questions, and discusses and promotes alternatives to selling cattle for slaughter (building shelters, using and selling by-products, such as manure as compost, etc.).

The demand for Awareness and Education Camps is rising. Numerous villages have contacted our partner VSPCA to invite the CRPI team to hold a camp in their village.

A priceless side-effect of the intensive exchange with villagers is that our CRPI team is gaining an even deeper insight into the livelihoods of local farmers and their everyday struggle. Furthermore, farmers regularly report violations at certain cattle markets, locations of illegal slaughter, and other interesting information.

c) Training of and Joint Inspections with Local Authorities

Working closely with local authorities is a vital part of the CRPI. VSPCA contributed their contacts to local authorities to the CRPI. Both NGOs have deepened and fostered this network ever since and are regularly meeting with local police forces, the Road Transport Authority, and other relevant officers.

In October 2013 we have started setting up joint road inspections with local authorities. The overall aim is to start enforcing existing animal welfare legislation and fine animal trucks that violate existing law. As the current years, we started by informing all stakeholders about how cattle should be transported according to the law and give them some time to adapt to this new situation. Meanwhile we have been joining forces authorities and setting up plans for joint inspections of the markets. Two cattle markets in the district of Visakhapatnam have been selected. Leaflets and banners have been printed and are now regularly displayed at the selected markets.

The CRPI is also preparing the training of local police forces in Seemandhra. Again, the aim is to increase the number of inspections of animal trucks and hand out fines for violations.

2. National / State level

We are witnessing the consequences of India’s role as “world’s biggest exporter of beef” and “world’s biggest dairy producer” on cattle farms and during transport inspections – and are communicating these findings to higher political levels. Therefore, we are producing regular reports and updates from our field investigations that are sent to relevant stakeholders. However, the success bases on personal contacts with key political decision makers. These contacts are established and, above all, fostered with regular face-to-face meetings and exchange of ideas.

3. Global

To address the animal transport problems in India outside of the country is the smallest, but still equally important as the other parts of the CRPI. Firstly, as stated before, today’s cattle farming is a GLOBAL business. We want to inform the global community about the situation we are witnessing. Secondly, India is increasingly aware of its global reputation. To work and publish our findings on a global level increases the pressure on Indian authorities to address the animal welfare problems in their country.

CRPI comment about working with authorities:

"A crucial side-effect of our work with political officials is that animal welfare becomes a topic they have to deal with. We strongly believe that receiving our reports and discussing our point of view in meetings with authorities has an effect on their attitude towards farm animals. We are aware that we can only change small things at a time but speaking up for the animals over and over again will slowly change the way animals are treated by political decision makers."