Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Cow slaughter: PIL seeks stricter laws

CUTTACK: Despite the existence of stringent laws banning illegal transportation of cows for slaughter and open slaughtering of the animals, rampant supply of cattle to outside states for the very purpose continues unchecked.

According to estimates, over 2.5 lakh cows are illegally transported from different regions to states like West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh every month. What is more appalling is that they are transported in barbaric conditions, overloaded and crammed in such a way that many even fail to make the destination and die on the way.

While recent incidents where locals and animal welfare organisations have rescued a large number of cows during illegal transportation have brought to light the enormity of the situation, a PIL was on Monday filed in the Orissa High Court seeking directions to the Government for strict enforcement of the laws and striking at the root of such activities.

The petitioners, general secretary of Legal Support and Social Action Gadadhar Sahoo and president of Biswa Go Surakhya Bahini Suresh Kumar Panda, informed that areas like Begunia, Sakhigopal, Baliapada, Ichchapur, Tangi, Jagatsinghpur, Charampa, Golbazaar, Sambalpur, Soro, Gopinathpur and Athagarh were hubs of illegal cow markets.

A survey conducted by them has revealed that at least 15,000 cows from Khurda district, 24,000 from Kendrapara, 40,000 from Bhadrak, 20,000 each from Jajpur and Jagatsinghpur and 50,000 each from Balasore and Cuttack districts are illegally transported to Kolkata every month. Besides, not less than 38,000 cattle were channeled to Andhra Pradesh from Koraput district alone.

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, (amended) 1982 provides for imprisonment without fine on persons engaged in illegal transportation of animals and inflicting torture on them by overloading and beating them. However, as the enforcement agencies like police do not act strong,� unscrupulous sellers are having a free run. This will soon lead to a situation of serious shortage of cattle in the State, the petitioners submitted.

They also stated that the Animal Welfare Board of India that had taken note of the rampant illegal transportation of cattle to West Bengal in September this year had written to the Chief Secretary seeking directions to all police stations to prevent and curb illegal transportation. However, the police have still turned a blind eye, the petitioners alleged.
The petitioners have prayed for directions to the Home Secretary and the DGP to take immediate steps to stop illegal transportation as well as stopping cow slaughter in public.

“Under the Prevention of Cow Slaughter Rules 1966, the animals can be slaughtered on obtaining a certificate and that can only be allowed in his own place away from public or at locations away from human habitation. The local authorities should construct abattoirs for the purpose but nothing has been done yet, Gadadhar Sahoo submitted.

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