The curious case of disappearing Donkeys in AP

In a bizarre scenario being reported from Andhra Pradesh, donkey meat consumption has apparently risen drastically in the state. Several reports of donkey slaughtering from many districts including West Godavari, Krishna, Prakasam and Guntur have surfaced across the media. This is especially alarming because donkey slaughter is illegal in India and is not registered as a ‘food animal.’
According to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) 2011, the slaughter of such an animal is illegal. Although people who consume donkey meat claim that it increases strength and virility, there is no medical evidence to support the claim. Donkey milk has been quite popular and hailed as a cure for various ailments, but meat consumption has begun recently.
According to news reports, many criminal groups jointly run donkey meat rackets in Andhra Pradesh. While one gang manages the procurement, the other handles the slaughtering and distribution of the meat. Donkey meat-eaters take considerable pain in finding the illegal traders and then buy it at high prices, often running into thousands. 
According to Gopal R. Surabathula, secretary of Animal Rescue Org, an NGO based out of Kakinada, said they had received a series of complaints against the slaughter. "Since donkeys are sparse in Andhra Pradesh, the animal is sourced from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Karnataka," he added, while speaking to the media.
G. Nehru Babu, the Joint Director of Animal Husbandry in West Godavari, said that donkey slaughter is illegal and stringent action will be taken against people involved in the crime. He appealed to people to refrain from believing in misconceptions about the animal’s milk and meat benefits and directed them to report any such cases if witnessed or noticed. 

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