Illegal Goat Markets Mushroom Up All Over Mumbai Prior to Eid al-Adha, PETA India Investigation Reveals

For Immediate Release:
19 July 2021

Pradeep Ranjan Doley Barman; [email protected]
Monica Chopra; [email protected]

Group Registers Complaints With Local Police Stations for Gross Violations of State Government Orders and Animal Protection Laws

Mumbai – This week, an investigation by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India revealed that numerous temporary, illegal, and crowded goat markets mushroomed up all across Mumbai in violation of the Maharashtra government circular regarding the celebration of Eid al-Adha. The circular mandates that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all existing active animal markets be shut down and that the purchase of animals be allowed only online or via telephone.

The group’s investigation covered 23 illegal makeshift goat markets in Andheri, Byculla, Govandi, Jogeshwari, Kurla, and Mankhurd. Nearly 1 lakh goats were reportedly transported from states like Assam, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh to be sold for sacrifice. The investigation revealed rampant violations of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960; the Transport of Animals Rules, 1978; and COVID-19 protocols.

Photographs of the illegal markets, investigative report and complaint letters are available upon request.

Following the investigation, PETA India fired off letters to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, the chief secretary, the commissioner of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation; the director general of police, Maharashtra; and the commissioner of police, Mumbai, and submitted complaints at local police stations to register a First Information Report against the illegal markets’ organisers and goat sellers.

“All religions call for compassion, and at a minimum, animal protection laws must be adhered to during Eid and year-round,” says PETA India Advocacy Associate Pradeep Ranjan Doley Barman. “PETA India encourages Eid celebrations through the distribution of money, clothing, or fruit or in other ways that don’t harm animals.”

PETA India’s investigation found violations of the PCA Act, 1960. The illegal goat markets were severely crowded, and numerous animals were crammed into congested spaces where they struggled to find a place to stand and lie down. Some were filmed fighting with each other. These animals were often deprived of food and water, and many were suffering from respiratory problems for which no veterinary treatment was provided. The buyers and sellers weren’t able to produce fitness certificates to transport the goats, in gross violation of the Transport of Animals Rules, 1978. Goats were filmed visibly in pain as they were pulled and pushed by their necks into auto rickshaws by buyers outside the markets. Most of the sellers and buyers weren’t wearing masks or maintaining social distancing, which is mandatory as per COVID-19 protocols.

PETA India (whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”) recently sent letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to remove Section 28 from the PCA Act, 1960, which allows animal sacrifice in the name of religion, and the directors general of police of all states and union territories, requesting that they take all possible precautionary measures to stop any illegal transport and killing of animals in the run-up to Eid, as was advised by the Animal Welfare Board of India in its 25 June advisory.

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