The Tamil Nadu Animal Welfare Board (TNAWB) rescued several animals from Sanghamitra farm in Coimbatore on Tuesday, November 21 after receiving several complaints of animal abuse. All the animals at the farm were shifted from the farm to various shelters for immediate care and treatment. Two camels, horses, donkeys, dogs and pups were rescued from the farm in an eight hour rescue operation.
“The TNAWB had received several complaints from August, 2023, regarding an illegally run farm named ‘Sangamithra farm’ based in Coimbatore. Complainants said that animals under their care were kept in a bad condition and were subjected to abuse. The animals were also used for performance without obtaining permission from Animal Welfare Board of India,” a release by TNAWB stated.
This facility was selling camel and goat milk and offering camel rides to both children and adults during the evenings. Complaints against the owners said the animals were subjected to inhumane conditions like exposure to extreme heat, malnourishment and physical abuse.
On November 18, TNAWB member Shruti Vinodh Raj along with Coimbatore Animal Husbandry officials went to Sangamithra farm to investigate the complaints. They seized the animals and shifted them to a shelter for immediate care and maintenance. A team from India Project for Animal and Nature (IPAN) Nilgiris led by Nigel Otter facilitated the rescue of the animals. The two camels were shifted to People for Animals Shelter in Chennai, four horses and two donkeys were shifted to IPAN and a dog and two pups were shifted to the Humane Animal Society in Coimbatore for care and maintenance. The animals are said to be in critical condition and require prolonged treatment.
Speaking to TNM, Shruthi Vinod said the owner of the farm, Manikandan, was a repeat offender and had been booked earlier in similar cases. She said, “Usually, we have to file FIR and then seize animals, but considering the level of cruelty the animals were subjected to, veterinary doctors gave us a certificate to rescue them immediately.”
The Board had conducted an inspection ten days earlier, but Manikandan had fought with them, stating that the animals could not be taken without the paperwork. “Then we obtained a vet certificate and went back to the farm. There were more animals back then,
but now we don’t know what he did with them. Ten days ago, there were six camels. He claimed that one camel had died and the other three had gone missing,” Shruthi added.
Manikandan used the animals on his farm for exhibition, display and sales without obtaining the necessary license. The rescue team also found videos of the people from the farm hitting the camels with an iron rod.
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