The first bench comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sunder gave the direction while disposing of a PIL by Yogendra Singh Saroha of city-based Gau Gyan Foundation, seeking a direction to the authorities to regulate transportation of animals to a fair in Erode district.
The petitioner had sought regulation of transport of cattle, horses and other livestock being brought to a cattle fair at Anthiyur Gurunathaswamy temple at Puduppalayam in the district.
In its order, the bench said, "We direct the state to ensure that there is no violation of transportation of any animal rule or any other rule or Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. State is also directed to ensure the hygienic conditions are maintained in the fair ground and people who gather are provided with basic amenities such as drinking water etc."
Saroha had submitted that in August every year, the cattle fair is organised during a festival where people from all over India come to sell and buy cattle.
The dates for the festival this year are August 9-12 at the temple in Puduppalayam.
The petitioner also submitted that another important festival (a horse fair) is held in the same month since it is believed to be the practice from the time of Tipu Sultan.
Noting that about 20,000 numbers of such cattle were transported in the year 2016, Saroha submitted that this year it would be more in number.
Alleging that the cattle were sold to slaughter houses illegally in the guise of trade, he said sale of cattle is carried out without any proper certificates from government veterinary doctors and other officials.
Noting that the cattle are transported in an unhygienic manner, he said the fair is conducted in the above place without any proper facilities like drinking water, both for animals and the people who participate in it.
Saroha claimed that had seen cattle and horses dragged and pulled into roofless vehicles and tied together without space even to breathe.
He submitted that if the authorities concerned failed to take immediate action to regulate illegal transportation of livestock, then the Animal Welfare Act and Rules enacted for their welfare would be defeated.
Hence, he prayed for a direction from the court to the authorities to regulate the transportation, buying and selling of the cattle as per the Animal Welfare Act.
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