People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has sent a letter to states asking them to take precautionary measures to stop illegal transport and killing of animals in the lead-up to Bakrid and cited the "advice" by the Animal Welfare Board of India in its circular in July this year.
Bakrid falls on August 22 this year.
PETA India has written to chief secretaries, the directors general of police, and the directors of animal husbandry departments of state governments and Union Territories, as well as the commissioners of municipal corporations of metropolitan cities.
"All religions call for compassion, no religion requires killing or eating animals, and hacking animals to death with weapons is just plain cruel.
"The state governments have a duty to uphold and enforce India's animal-protection laws, and PETA India is calling on the authorities to prohibit the cutting of animals' throats by untrained people in the street," said PETA India Emergency Response Coordinator Meet Ashar.
In its letter, PETA India pointed out that through orders dated February 17, 2017 and April 10, 2017 on two matters regarding the sacrifice and killing of animals for meat the Supreme Court ruled that animals can be slaughtered only in officially licensed slaughterhouses and that municipal authorities must ensure compliance with this ruling.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughter House) Rules, 2001, and the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011, permit the slaughter of animals for food only in registered or licensed slaughterhouses equipped with species-specific stunning equipment, it said.
The Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011, also prohibit killing camels for meat, a prevalent practice during Bakrid. And the Transport of Animals Rules, 1978, are also frequently violated during this festival, it pointed out.
PETA India noted that thousands of goats, buffaloes, camels, and other animals are killed during festivals such as Bakrid, Dussehra, Durga Puja, and Bali Pratha.
Common illegal practices during these holidays include cramming animals into severely crowded trucks which routinely causes suffocation and broken bones breaking animals' tails and beating them to keep them moving while marching them to the place of sacrifice among others, it alleged.
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