PETA India has once again sent a round of letters to the directors general of police of all state governments and union territories across India, requesting that they take all possible precautionary measures to stop the illegal transport and killing of animals in the lead-up to Bakr-Eid – as was also advised by the Animal Welfare Board of India in its 18 June circular.
In the letters, we pointed out that 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 laws regarding preventing cruelty to animals and the food safety and standards guidelines permit the slaughter of animals for food only in registered or licensed slaughterhouses equipped with species-specific stunning equipment and do not permit killing camels for meat, a common practice during Bakr-Eid. Laws on the transportation of animals are also frequently violated during this festival.
PETA India’s undercover investigation before the festival last year found appalling cruelty in Mumbai’s Deonar slaughterhouse. The footage shows many animals suffocating during transportation as well as buffaloes, sheep, and goats being killed without prior stunning and in front of one another, in gross violation of the law.
Thousands of goats, buffaloes, camels, and other animals are killed during festivals such as Bakr-Eid (which takes place on 31 July and 1 August this year). Common illegal practices include cramming animals onto severely crowded lorries – which routinely causes suffocation and broken bones – breaking their tails and beating them to keep them moving while marching them to the place of sacrifice, and slaughter by untrained people who slit animals’ throats with dull knives in full view of one another and often in front of traumatised children who want to protect them from harm.