Following Push by Animal-Protection Groups, Kullu Administration Stops Planned Animal Sacrifice for Second Year

For Immediate Release:

25 October 2018


Nikunj Sharma; [email protected]

Garima Jain; [email protected]

As a Compassionate Gesture, the District Administration Organised a Blood Donation Camp

Kullu, Himachal Pradesh – Following efforts by People for Animals and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, the Executive Officer of Kullu Municipal Council has issued an executive order refusing permission for animal sacrifices that were scheduled to take place on Wednesday, the concluding day of the Kullu Dussehra festival. The district administration instead organised a blood donation camp and called on the public to donate blood to save lives rather than taking lives by sacrificing animals. Abiding by the orders of the Supreme Court of India, the Executive Officer stated in his order that since there are no licensed slaughterhouses in Kullu, the district administration cannot grant permission for animal sacrifice.

A copy of the order prohibiting animal sacrifice and photographs of the blood donation camp are available upon request.

“This is a watershed moment for Hindu tradition and Indian culture. Old barbaric rituals [are] giving way to scientific, reasonable, compassionate actions aimed at the greater good of the society,” says People for Animals trustee Gauri Maulekhi. “[The k]illing of animals for religious reasons is perverse and offensive for any religion. Kullu and Himachal Pradesh deserve much praise for abiding by the directions of the judiciary and the collective conscience of the society.”

“PETA India greatly appreciates the efforts made by the Kullu administration to implement animal-protection laws and prevent animal suffering,” says PETA India Associate Director of Public Policy Nikunj Sharma. “District administrations in India have a duty to uphold and enforce our animal-protection laws, and we’re calling on them all to prohibit untrained people from cutting animals’ throats in the street.”

In its 20 July 2018 circular, the Animal Welfare Board of India advised all state governments to prohibit animal sacrifice. In a recent letter to the chief secretaries, directors general of police, and directors of animal husbandry and veterinary services of all states, PETA India pointed out that – through orders dated 17 February and 10 April 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. The Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011, prohibit killing camels for meat, a practice prevalent during Bakrid. And the Transport of Animals Rules, 1978, are also frequently violated during Dussehra.

PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way” – notes that thousands of goats, buffaloes, camels, and other animals are killed during festivals such as Dussehra, Bakrid, 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 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, upset children, who want to protect them from harm.

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