SRINAGAR—Stirring up a hornet’s nest, Jammu and Kashmir government has banned the slaughter of cows, calves and camels on Eid-ul-Adha (Bakra Eid) in the Union Territory (UT).
GL Sharma, Director Planning, J&K Animal/Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries Department has shot off a letter Divisional Commissioner, Jammu/Kashmir and IGP, Jammu/Kashmir and asked them to take measures to stop the slaughter of bovine animals in the UT.
Sharma has referred to the letter received from the Animal Welfare Board of India, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Government of India.
“In this regard, large numbers of sacrificial animals are likely to be slaughtered in the UT of J&K during Bakra Eid festival scheduled from 21-23 July 2021 & 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 the slaughtering of animals (under which camels cannot be slaughtered) during the festival,” Sharma said in the letter to Divisional Commissioner, Jammu/Kashmir and IGP, Jammu/Kashmir
Sharma said he was directed to request to take all preventive measures as per the provisions of acts & rules referred for implementation of the animal welfare laws, to stop the illegal killing of animals and take stringent action against the offenders violating animal welfare laws
A copy of the letter has also been sent to Chairman, Animal Welfare Board of India for information and all District Magistrates, Commissioner, 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.
Human Rights defender Peerzada Raqif Makhdoomi strongly condemned the ban. Calling it “authoritarian”, he said this is really unfortunate the government has ordered a ban on sacrificing certain animals.
“This is highly unfortunate that government ahead of Eid-Ul-Adha has issued an order banning some animals from being sacrificed. Never before has Kashmir seen such an order? This is really sad on the part of the government. Issuing such orders is interfering with religious beliefs. Which can’t be accepted,” he said.
Makhdoomi urged the government to revoke the order which amounts to hurting the religious sentiments of people. “The government can’t decide which animal to be sacrificed and which not. Order must be rolled back,” he said
Jammu and Kashmir is the only Muslim majority state/UT in the country. According to the 2011 census, the united Jammu and Kashmir’s population is 1,25, 41,302. Around 68.31 % of people are Muslims, while 28.44 % are Hindus. Christians are 0.28 %; Jains are 0.02 %, Buddhists 0.90 % and Sikhs 1.87 %. Accordingly, Kashmir has a population of 6.89 million, while Jammu has 5.38 million.
Most of the people sacrifice sheep and goats during Bakra Eid, but in rural areas, some bovines are also slaughtered. This year, five lakh seep and goat is expected to be slaughtered in J&K. Local breeders have supplied almost three lakh sheep, while two lakh animals are being imported from other states.