Srinagar: A day after Director of Planning, J&K Animal/Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries Department, wrote to the Divisional Commissioners and top police brass of Jammu and Kashmir divisions asking them to implement the ban on slaughter of cows, calves and camels on Eid-al-Azha, an official spokesman Friday said that no ban has been ordered on slaughtering of animals on the annual Muslim festival.
The Animal and Sheep Husbandry Department has now clarified that the Jammu and Kashmir government has not issued any ban order on slaughtering of animals in accordance with rules.
“Pertinently, Animal Welfare Board of India every year issues advisory regarding animal slaughtering to be carried out while following laws and rules. The same advisory has been issued this year also and has been forwarded to the concerned authorities,” he said.
On Thursday, in a communication addressed to the divisional commissioners and IGPs of Jammu as well as Kashmir, the J&K Animal/Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries department had called for banning slaughter of cows, calves, and camels on the occasion of the Muslim festival during which sacrificing sheep, cows, calves and camels is an important ritual.
Director Planning, J-K Animal/Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries Department, while citing an official letter dated June 25 from the Animal Welfare Board of India, Union Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, said a large numbers of sacrificial animals are likely to be slaughtered in the UT during Eid-ul Azha festival scheduled from July 21-23.
The Animal Welfare Board of India, in view of animal welfare has requested for implementation of all precautionary measures to strictly implement the Animal Welfare Laws viz. Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960; Transport of Animal Welfare Rules, 1978; Transport of Animals (Amendment) Rules, 2001; Slaughter House Rules, 2001; Municipal Laws & Food Safety & Standards Authority of India directions for slaughtering of animals (under which camels cannot be slaughtered) during the festival, the communication reads.
The Director said he has been given directions to request you to take all preventive measures as per the provisions of acts & rules referred above for implementation of the animal welfare laws, to stop illegal killing of animals & to take stringent action against the offenders violating animal welfare laws .
The copies of the letter were also sent to the chairman of Animal Welfare Board of India for information and all District Magistrates; Commissioners, SMC/JMC; Director, Animal Husbandry Department, Jammu/Kashmir; Director Sheep Husbandry Department, Jammu/Kashmir; Director, Urban Local Bodies, Jammu/Kashmir, and all Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs).
The National Conference took strong exception to the communication seeking to ban illegal killing of cows and camels on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha. It had called for the revocation of the order.
Expressing dismay over the order, party’s spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar said it is conceivable to flag that the measure is unjust and inexcusable .
Having such strictures on cow slaughter are well understood because of it being an object of veneration for a particular community but having such strictures in place for other bovines and draught animals is completely unfair, Dar said.
The blanket ban will give another vehicle of intimidation to various unscrupulous elements to bully and pose a threat to the lives of Muslims associated with the trade and transport of bovine animals, he said.
Muttahida Majlis-e-Ulema (MMU), an amalgam of several religious organisations in Jammu and Kashmir, had also expressed strong resentment against the ban, calling it a direct infringement of religious freedom. (With PTI inputs)
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