With one day left for Eid al-Adha, the Tripura government clarified its position on a recent notification banning the illegal slaughter of animals, including cows and calves, which had drawn criticism from opposition political parties.
Talk to indianexpress.comTripura Animal Resources Development Department (ARDD) Minister Bhagaban Das said the notification was not new and was linked to a letter from the Animal Welfare Board, which only mentions the rules transporting and illegally killing animals, and has not imposed any ban on the killing of animals. .
“Nothing in the ordinance prohibits anything drastic. It just asks everyone to obey the law, that’s all. People can transport animals, they can also slaughter them. But it has to be in accordance with legal process,” the minister said.
A June 18 notification issued by the director of Tripura ARDD said that guidelines were in place to stop the illegal killing or sacrifice of cows, calves, cattle and other animals, and that action would be taken against offenders for violating animal transport rules on the occasion of Bakrid.
The notification was issued with reference to a letter from the Animal Welfare Council sent to all state governments on June 7 which read: “…the Bakrid festival will be celebrated on July 10, 2022 across the country. It is a fact that a large number of animals are likely to be slaughtered during the Bakrid festival. It is reported that during animal transport, the owner of the animals does not comply with animal welfare laws and animal transport rules, which prescribe the number of animals that can be transported in a vehicle, which results in cruelty to animals”.
The letter also referred to the slaughterhouse clause under Rule 3 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “No person shall slaughter an animal in a municipal area except in a slaughterhouse recognized or authorized by the relevant authority empowered by the law in force at that time and no animal which is pregnant or has offspring less than 3 months old aged or less than 3 months old, which has not been certified by a veterinarian that it is fit to be slaughtered, must be slaughtered,” he added.
He also cited penalties for cruelty to any animal under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, and said such violation is contrary to the spirit of Sections 48, 48(a) and 51 A (g) of the Constitution of India.
On what would be considered ‘illegal slaughter’, Das explained that slaughter should only be carried out by licensed personnel and said that the slaughter of a sick, underage or pregnant animal would be considered ‘unlawful’. .
Mentioning the need for slaughterhouses, Das said that extreme cruelty to animals is sometimes seen, including open slaughter which has a serious influence on onlookers. The minister said he personally believes that if a religious belief or feeling is related to an animal or a bird, no one should shoot it in front of him as it could impact his feelings.
The letter from the Animal Welfare Board has been sent to all state governments asking them to direct relevant authorities to take all precautionary measures to strictly enforce animal welfare laws in order to stop the illegal killing of animals and to take strict action against offenders who violate animal laws.
Meanwhile, the notification drew criticism from the opposition Congress and the CPMI, who said it was issued with a “clear motive” to hurt the feelings of one community or to appease another community.
Tripura Congress President Birajit Sinha condemned the notification and said the manner in which it was issued days before Eid al-Adha was reprehensible. He also said the religious feelings of any religion should not be hurt and claimed the notification was issued with a “clear motive” to hurt the feelings of a community.
Opposition leader CPIM and All India Kisan Sabha state chairman Pabitra Kar said his party found the notification ‘totally unacceptable’ and said it was aimed at appeasing BJP supporters.
The Tripura Wakf board has given its support to the state government and said the notification has nothing against the Muslim community. “Our Shariati law and our Hadith guidelines prohibit us from killing cows less than a year old and prohibit pregnant cows. It is almost the same as the government order. There is no difference,” said Shah Alam, chairman of the Tripura Wakf Board.
Alam, who is also chairman of the state’s BJP minority morcha, alleged that opposition political parties are making groundless allegations to slander the BJP-led government and called on Muslims to ensure that the killings were carried out in a legal manner, in an isolated compound out of sight of the public. , and to ensure that all animal waste produced during the process has been properly disposed of by landfill.