After learning that some residents of Chombala village and certain members of the management of Sri Puthari Chathoth temple – located in Kunnummakkara, near Chombala, Kozhikode district – were planning to sacrifice numerous roosters as part of an annual ritual, PETA India sprang into action and worked with the superintendent of police, Kozhikode Rural, and the Revenue Divisional Office (RDO), Vadakara, to prevent the sacrifice from taking place. The RDO Vadakara issued an order to the management of the temple and the station house officer of Edachery Police Station to ensure no animals are sacrificed at the temple.
In its complaint, PETA India pointed out that Section 3 of the Kerala Animals and Birds Sacrifices Prohibition Act, 1968, strictly prohibits sacrificing animals in or within the premises of a temple or in temple precincts. Section 4 prohibits any person from officiating or offering to officiate at – or perform or offer to perform or participate in or offer to participate in – an animal sacrifice in a temple or its premises or in any other public place of worship. Section 5 prohibits the use of a temple or temple premises or any other place of public religious worship for sacrificing animals by any person in possession of such temple. Section 6 makes the contravention of Sections 3, 4, and 5 of the Act a punishable offence.
In its complaint, PETA India also highlighted that killing roosters illegally by several persons in furtherance of a common intention is a punishable offence under Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Under Section 429 of the IPC, mischievously killing roosters is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years, a fine, both.
PETA India also called attention to two judgements of the Hon’ble Kerala High Court regarding the subject. The Kerala High Court, vide its judgement in Muraleedharan & Anr vs State of Kerala & Ors (WP(C) No 11142 of 2020(S)), dated 16 June 2020, upheld the validity of the Kerala Animals and Birds Sacrifices Prohibition Act, 1968. Moreover, the Kerala High Court recently, vide its judgement dated 24 May 2023 in the case of Raveendran PT vs The State of Kerala & Ors (WP(C) No 15433 of 2022), directed action to stop animal sacrifices by terming them unhealthy, unscientific, and deleterious.
Gujarat, Kerala, Puducherry, and Rajasthan already have laws in place prohibiting the religious sacrifice of any animal in any temple or its precinct. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana prohibit it in any place of public religious worship or adoration or its precinct or in any congregation or procession connected with religious worship on a public street.