After several media houses had reported that Jammu and Kashmir administration has written a letter to authorities asking them to implement the ban on slaughter of bovine animals ahead of Eid-ul-Azha, sparking an uproar among the residents, it issued a clarification saying there was no ban on slaughter of animals on the upcoming Muslim festival.
G.L. Sharma, Director Planning of Animal, Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries Departments, said the earlier communication by the administration was “misconstrued”.
“It was not an order, (but) a letter. The letter was sent to enforcement agencies to enforce the laws of the Animal Welfare Board. This is not a ban on slaughter and sacrifice,” Sharma said.
Sharma further added the letter issued should not be viewed as a “ban order” but laws to ensure safe ferrying of animals into J&K, identification of pregnant and sick animals. This is also to ensure no overloading kills the animals, he stated.
Jammu and Kashmir administration had banned illegal slaughter, media spreads fake news
The hasty clarification came after media houses wrongly reported a letter from the Jammu and Kashmir administration asking authorities to enforce a ban on the illegal slaughter of cows, calves and camels ahead of Bakra-Eid stirred quite a flutter. Yesterday, it was reported that the Jammu and Kashmir govt has enforced a ban on the illegal slaughter of cows, calves and camels ahead of the Eid-ul-Adha festival in Jammu and Kashmir.
In a directive, the Director of Jammu and Kashmir Animal, Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries Department has asked the officials to stop the illegal killing of cows, camels and other animals on the occasion of Bakra-Eid and asked them to take strict action against offenders who violate the order.
The letter said, “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 slaughtering of animals (under which camels cannot be slaughtered) during the festival.”
The letter instructed all the departments concerned “to take all preventive measures as per the provisions of acts and rules to stop illegal killing of animals and to take stringent action against the offenders”.
This makes it clear that there was no ban ordered by the administration, only the authorities were asked to ensure rules and regulations regarding animal slaughter are followed as the number of slaughters increases during the Islamic festival.
However, several media houses like Outlook and several others had wrongly reported the letter saying that the J&K administration has banned the slaughter of cows in the UT. As a result of this wrong reporting, the administration has issued the clarification.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of goats are sacrificed in Jammu and Kashmir, majority of which are slaughtered in capital Srinagar. According to some estimates, approximately Rs 500 crores worth of animals are sacrificed in Jammu and Kashmir alone. Besides goats, sheep, oxen and other animals are sacrificed by the Muslim residents of the Union Territory.
It is worth noting that traditional Kashmiris prefer mutton over beef. Even before the participation, when the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir was ruled by the Dogra rulers, the slaughter of bovines and the sale of beef had been banned in the region.