Gujarat Exclusive > Camel smugglers nabbed by Rajasthan police in Bharatpur

Camel smugglers nabbed by Rajasthan police in Bharatpur

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With the growing demand for camel meat, the smuggling of the animal out of Rajasthan has increased in the recent past. In this context, the Bharatpur Police has nabbed two smugglers who were smuggling 31 camels for slaughtering.

The police were given a tip-off by the villagers of Neham that some persons were taking the camels to Haryana. The police reached the spot and found that two persons, Akhilesh and Adil belonging to village Nuh in Haryana, were taking the camels for slaughtering.

A few years ago, the Border Security Force discovered a truck carrying camels to Bangladesh for slaughtering. The camels are still being smuggled to Bangladesh as camel meat is cheaper than the cows and buffalos.

After this, the BSF through stricter vigil on the Indo-Bangladesh borders in West Bengal and Assam apprehended a number of smugglers involved in camel smuggling.

Yet, camels are still being smuggled out of the country to Bangladesh. The Bangladeshis like the camel meat and the slaughterers made good money as the volume of meat from the camel is enormous as compared to the cattle meat.

After the hue and cry by animal welfare activists, the Rajasthan government through a Cabinet decision declared the camel as a state animal in 2014. But, the state government failed to protect the desert ship through legislation banning its slaughtering or smuggling. The state government in the absence of law have been trying to stop the smuggling of the camel under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

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Moreover, the camel census revealed that its population in the state was dwindling fast.

A camel census at a small level was undertaken in 1951 revealed that the population of the camel in various districts of Rajasthan was 3.41 lakh. But this census was confined to a few districts only.  A broader and elaborated census in 1983 found the number was 7.56 lakh. This figure got reduced to 7.19 lakh in 1988 and in subsequent years the numbers started dwindling fast and by the year 2012, the number dipped significantly.

Reasons behind declining camel population

Increased automation and the high cost of maintaining the livestock are the reasons for the loss of the camel population in the state. The camels were used for transportation purposes in the villages and hamlets of the state. But since a large number of villages are now connected with the roads, the camels are fast losing their utility as transport animals. The camel rearers, who belong to the Raika community of western Rajasthan, now find it difficult to maintain their age-old tradition as rearing camels is no longer profitable.

 

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