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Centre asks states to ensure no illegal killing of animals takes place on Bakrid

States have also been asked to ensure that animals are not subjected to any cruelty during transportation

New Delhi: In a bid to control illegal slaughter of animals on Eid ul-Zuha or Bakrid, the environment ministry has asked all state governments to ensure that no illegal killing of animals, including cows, takes place, and that animals are not subjected to cruelty during transportation.

“It is a fact that large numbers of animals are slaughtered during Bakrid festival. Kindly note that as per Rule 3 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Rules, 2001, no person shall slaughter any animal within a municipal area except in a slaughter house recognized or licensed by the authority concerned," read a letter sent by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) to all states ahead of Bakrid, which will be celebrated on 25 September.

The letter dated 17 August has been sent to chief secretaries, directors general of police and the animal husbandry departments of states.

“... no animal which is pregnant, has an offspring less than three months old or is under three months of age and has not been certified by a veterinary doctor to be in a fit condition to be slaughtered shall be slaughtered," the letter said.

Bakrid is one of the major festivals of Muslims, during which animals are sacrificed.

AWBI, which is under the environment ministry’s control, also asked states to ensure that animals are not subjected to any cruelty during transportation. “It is reported that during the transportation of animals, the owners of the animals do not follow the animal welfare laws and Transport of Animal Rules, which prescribe the number of animals which can be transported in a vehicle, resulting in cruelty to animals. It is noticed that the animals suffer and are subjected to various cruelties and some of the animals even die during transportation," the letter said.

The AWBI directive clarified that “camels cannot be slaughtered".

“Camels cannot be slaughtered for food at all. Also wherever the cow slaughter prohibition act is in force, slaughtering of cows should not be allowed at all," the letter said.

The animal welfare board, a statutory advisory body on animal welfare laws, urged states to strictly enforce animal welfare legislation.

Quoting several Supreme Court judgments relating to animal welfare, AWBI asked states to “direct all the authorities concerned to take all precautionary measures to strictly implement the animal welfare laws to stop illegal killing of animals and to take stringent action against the offenders..."

It asked states to inform it of action taken on the directive.

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