Every year, thousands of people from all over the Indian states of Maharashtra and Karnataka travel to the village of Chinchali to attend the annual fair celebrating the goddess Mayakka Devi. Entire families pile into carts pulled by bullocks, horses, and donkeys for what can be a two-day trip of hundreds of kilometres. The animals often suffer from severe thirst or lameness, and some collapse from exhaustion and despair.
Animal Rahat, a PETA-supported relief program for animals who have been forced to work, has provided aid and emergency veterinary care to animals in years past, including a phenomenally successful program that transports villagers to the fair in chartered buses. More than 600 people availed themselves of the free rides the first year that they were offered.
This year, outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) have occurred in regions near the Chinchali Fair site, so Animal Rahat met with local authorities…
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