Animal Aid Abroad's partner group - Help in Suffering's Camel Rescue Centre had a very busy 9 days in November treating a total of 658 camels at the Pushkar Fair in Rajasthan. Following is Dr Abhinav's report on this amazing event where nearly 15,000 camels, horses and bullocks assemble from all over Northern India.
India is a colourful country of fairs and festivals. Traders and villagers from all over Rajasthan and neighbouring states gather with thousands of camels for trading. Animals plays an important role in the life of Indian people, their economy, their livelihood, their rituals and worships as well. Pushkar fair is one of the most popular and colourful fairs of the ‘Thar’ desert of Rajasthan. It is held in Pushkar, every year in the months of October- November. Pushkar is a holy town for the Hindus located about 150 kms from Jaipur district in Rajasthan. It is one of the oldest cities of India. Pushkar is famous for its temples and ghats. Many animals and their owners walk for days to be at the fair. Few of them use different modes of transportation like trucks to bring their animals to the fair.
Help In Suffering (HIS) organized a week long free veterinary and treatment camp at the fair from 6th November to 14th November led by Dr Abhinav and his team of vets and compounders [ vet assistants].
A total number of 658 camels were treated for various clinical problems. 310 camels were de-wormed to reduce the gastric worm load. Camel owners were advised to follow the de-worming schedule for at least once in three months to keep their camels healthy.
Majority of cases presented to the camp had gastric disturbances which mainly include simple indigestion along with few cases of diarrhoea, colic, and impaction. Sudden change in feed and water, stress due to long journey and diurnal variations of temperature during the fair are the main factors responsible for gastric problems.
A major proportion of camels were suffering from different wounds like nose peg wounds, saddle sore wounds, leg injuries, eye injuries, punctured foot pad wounds etc. Treating Nose peg wound injuries was the major challenge to the team as each and every owner was explained the significance of plastic nose pegs over the wooden and metal ones.
Lameness was frequently observed as people bring their camels from long distances without sufficient rest. Camels are on a high risk of lameness when owners walk for days together or during loading and unloading in the trucks to bring their camels to the fair.
This year 248 camels were treated for skin infections like mange and other external parasites which is much higher than the previous year’s camps
This year there was an outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection. Hundreds of camels suffered from the same problem with symptoms of thick nasal discharge, dyspnoea, anorexia etc
The ban on old Indian currency from 8th Nov. decreased the sale and purchase of everything including camels. Many camel owners went back their homes but many sick animals kept coming to us for various ailments.
Camels are very much prone to road accidents on highways because of their invisibility during night. These accidents mostly resulted into fatal injuries to camels and their owners. 325 pairs of reflectors were fixed to the camel carts by the HIS team.
Approx.1200 leaflets were distributed to camel owners to make them understand about better management practices & caring of their camels. These leaflets are printed in vernacular with self explanatory pictures on it. These leaflets are very much useful to explain about the proper management of nose peg and saddle sore wounds, optimum weight limit, significance of reflectors and routine checkups of the camels.
Statistics of the work done by the Team from Help In Suffering during the week long Pushkar fair 2016:
Total treatment : 658
Camels with mange: 248
camels showing lameness: 25
Surgery performed: 2
Nose pegs distributed: 240
Reflectors fixed on Camel carts: 325
Medicines for worms given: 310
Help In Suffering is thankful to all our donors and supporters for their kind support for the Pushkar camp for welfare of camels including Animal Aid Abroad and their major donor SPANA from the UK.