Jammu and Kashmir administration backs down after row over advisory on ban of animal slaughter ahead of Eid

Published : July 17, 2021 12:23 IST

Sheep for sale at a market in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, on July 16. Photo: Dar Yasin/AP

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has clarified that there was no ban on slaughter of sacrificial animals ahead of Eid-ul-Adha after a controversial government letter asking senior administrative and police officers to stop the sacrifice of animals outside slaughter houses created anger and apprehensions in the State.

Earlier, G.L. Sharma, Director, Planning, Animal Husbandry Department, had issued a notification to senior administrative and police officers that said: “A large number of sacrificial animals are likely to be slaughtered in the UT of J&K during Bakr Eid festival scheduled from 21-23 July 2021 and the Animal Welfare Board of India, in view of animal welfare, has requested for implementation of precautionary measures to strictly implement the Animal Welfare Laws….” It cited provisions in the law relating to cruelty to animals and slaughterhouses.

The letter further directed officials to take preventive measures as per the provisions of the rules referred in the animal welfare laws, to stop illegal killing of animals and to take stringent action against the offenders violating the laws.

Since the Kashmir Valley has only a few slaughter houses, the letter was interpreted as an attempt to prevent sacrifices on Eid. The Muttahid Majlis Ulema (MMU), a grouping of the religious leaders led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, said the order was unacceptable and should be revoked immediately.

The administration has now clarified that the controversy was unfounded as the letter was a “routine communication” and that there was no ban on slaughter of animals on Eid.

The Animal and Sheep Husbandry Department also issued a statement to clarify its stand: “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.”

Bakrid will be celebrated from July 21to July 23 across the Kashmir Valley.

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