Slaughtering of animals "cannot be allowed at any crossroad", the Delhi High Court said today and sought to know from the municipal corporation of East Delhi as to under what law or rules such activity was allowed and where.
"It (slaughtering) cannot be allowed on any crossroad. Which law provides where it should be done," a bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar asked the corporation.
When the corporation lawyer said there was a policy in place for regulating such activity, the bench said: "It was not a question of policy. You have to tell us under which law and rules, it is permitted and where. Otherwise close down the shops."
It directed the corporation to inform the court on the next date, August 8, what was the law, rule and policy which regulated slaughtering of animals, including poultry birds.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) by animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi alleging that poultry birds are being traded and slaughtered illegally at the Ghazipur mandi in east Delhi.
During the hearing, senior advocate Raj Panjwani, representing Maulekhi, told the court that the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, Environment Protection Act and even the Food Safety Act had provisions to regulate the activity of slaughtering.
The court had on August 31 last year directed the Delhi Agriculture Marketing Board (DAMB) to shut down all the poultry slaughter houses running from its premises at Ghazipur without the approval of the pollution controlling body DPCC.
It had also directed the DAMB to remove from the site the slaughterhouses which were operating illegally.
Ms Maulekhi, in her plea, has contended that there was "blatant violation" of mandatory health checks and veterinary screening of the birds which leads to spreading of infectious diseases such as avian flu.
The petition also draws attention to the conditions the birds are being kept in, saying they are "tied up and hung upside down, de-feathered, stuffed in wire cages without sufficient food or water and slaughtered while alive".
It has further claimed that waste generated as a result of the slaughter of the birds was not properly disposed of and was either flushed down the drain ending up in the rivers or dumped in open grounds.
It has sought directions to the authorities to "forthwith stop the illegal slaughter of poultry birds at the Ghazipur Mandi" as well as form a committee for carrying out weekly inspections of the area.
The plea has also sought that the birds be examined by the authorities and veterinarians after they are transported to the mandi to ensure none of them are infected with any disease.
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