No ban on slaughter of animals, letter misconstrued: JK Admin

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Jammu and Kashmir administration on Friday said a letter seeking proper transportation of animals has been misconstrued, ruling out that there was any ban on slaughter of animals on the upcoming Eid-ul-Adha.

G. L. Sharma, Director Planning of Animal, Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries Departments, told The Kashmir Walla there was no ban on slaughter of animals in the region.

“It is not an order, it is a letter. The letter was sent to enforcement agencies to enforce the laws of Animal Welfare Board and it is at the time there is mass slaughter of animals to prevent cruelty on animals. This is not a ban on slaughter and sacrifice,” Sharma said.

The letter issued from Sharma’s office yesterday had asked concerned authorities to stop “illegal killings” and sacrifice of cows and calves, camels and other animals.

The letter created uproar in the region as it was interpreted that the letter was ordering a ban on sacrifice on the occasion of upcoming Eid-ul-Adha, when Muslims sacrifice animals as a part of their religious obligation.

Sharma, however, said the letter was a routine affair and was meant to ensure safe transportation of animals for the purpose of slaughter. 

“There is an issue in transportation [of animals]. Suppose in a truck you are transporting sheeps, goats that have a capacity of 100 and you put 200 in it, many get killed among them. That is cruelty,” Sharma said and added there were laws that prevent slaughter of  pregnant, ill, thirsty etcetera animals that are to be implemented.

When asked about the lack of slaughter houses in Jammu and Kashmir as the letter seeks implementation of Slaughter House Rules 2001 that makes killing of animals mandatory in licensed slaughterhouses, Sharma said it was not necessary. “But slaughter should be done in a hygienic manner and not on roads and public places.” he said.

There is no law which bans the slaughter of animals for religious purposes.

The Jammu & Kashmir High Court in February this year had disposed of a plea seeking direction to enact a law prohibiting slaughter of cows and its progeny, ox, bull and buffalo. The plea had sought a direction from the court to make the slaughter of cows in Jammu and Kashmir a cognizable offence.

The previously implemented law – sections 298A, 298B, 298C and 298D of the Ranbir Penal Code – which banned the slaughter of cows was abolished in the aftermath of August 5 2019 events. 

In July 2017, the Supreme Court had also suspended a newly introduced law that had banned sale of cattle for slaughter.

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