Slaughter of animals in private flats and housing societies has been banned in Mumbai, the Bombay High Court said on Tuesday after hearing a petition by animal welfare groups. In its order, which comes ahead of Bakri Id next week, the court has allowed animal slaughter only at the government-approved slaughter houses.
The high court passed the order after a public interest litigation challenged the illegal transport and slaughter of animals. After the court order, slaughter of animals during Bakri Id would also not be allowed at housing societies.
A division bench of the high court with Justice Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari and Justice Gautam Patel has also restrained the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) from giving permissions for slaughter inside homes.
The bench was hearing two separate petitions filed by local NGOs - Jiv Maitri Trust and Viniyog Parivar. In the petitions, the animal welfare groups challenged the civic body's decision to grant temporary no-objection certificates to several housing societies for slaughter of goats and sheep on Bakr Id.
In its order, the court said: "In our view, the requirements of public safety, hygiene and and sanitation makes it impossible to accept any policy that permits slaughtering inside individual flats. In a city that is as densely crowded and congested as Mumbai and where typical residential apartments are small, we do not believe it is possible to make effective arrangements for human, hygienic and safe methods of sacrificial slaughter within a residential flat."
Fifty eight designated areas have been earmarked for the slaughter of animals. The court order also says permission will have to be taken from civic authorities for slaughtering animals in areas around places of worship like mosques.
Raju Gupta, the lawyer for petitioner, said: "If someone is slaughtering animals at home, outside their home or in a closed area, penal measures will have to be taken against them and there should be a social awareness campaign about the order."
The court's order will impact the 8,000 no objection certificates already given by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
In another order, the Bombay High Court has directed the state government and the BMC to ensure animals are transported legally in accordance with existing laws.
"All vehicles transporting animals will have to comply with laws. And if they don't comply with the laws action will have to be taken against them. If the existing laws are not complied with, then animals cannot be transported," Raju Gupta added.
While the court's order is clear, the main challenge for the BMC will be its implementation.