The alleged illegal slaughter of poultry birds at Ghazipur Mandi here as well as the manner in which they are kept there is under the scanner of the Delhi High Court which today sought the AAP government's stand on the issue. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notice to the Delhi Agricultural Marketing Board as well as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government's food safety and animal husbandry departments and sought their reply to a PIL alleging that poultry birds are being traded and slaughtered illegally at the mandi. The court also sought response of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) here and the municipal corporation of east Delhi, where the mandi is located, and listed the matter for further hearing on April 25. The order came on the plea by animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi who has contended that there is "blatant violation" of mandatory health checks and veterinary screening of the birds which leads to spreading of infectious diseases such as avian flu. The petition also draws attention to the conditions the birds are being kept in, saying that they are "tied up and hung upside down, defeathered, stuffed in wire cages without sufficient food or water and slaughtered while alive". It has further claimed that the waste generated as a result of the slaughter of the birds is not properly disposed of and is either flushed down the drain ending up in the rivers or dumped in open grounds. It has sought directions to the authorities to "forthwith stop the illegal slaughter of poultry birds at the Ghazipur Mandi" as well as form a committee for carrying out weekly inspections of the area. The plea has also sought that the birds are examined by the authorities and veterinarians after they are transported to the mandi to ensure none of them are infected with disease.
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