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Supreme Court seeks Centre’s and states’ replies on birth control of stray dogs

The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Kerala-based social activist, Sabu Steephen, who has sought direction to take “urgent steps to safeguard people from the stray dog menace, in which the life of millions of Indians under constant threats”.
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The Supreme Court on Monday sought responses of the Centre and states on a plea seeking birth control of stray dogs and their “destruction” in public necessity. A bench of justices Dipak Misra and P C Pant also issued notices to the concerned ministries, Animal Welfare Board of India and 36 states, while asking them to file their responses within four weeks.The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Kerala-based social activist, Sabu Steephen, who has sought direction to take “urgent steps to safeguard people from the stray dog menace, in which the life of millions of Indians under constant threats”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The existence of stray dogs is a common phenomenon in almost all streets throughout India and the same has been considered and proved as a terrible social menace, except in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep….The unexpected attacks of stray dogs on human beings, …create terrible shocks to the victims and their families, often at times’ even causing death of victims. In short, existence of stray dogs in India has adversely affected the citizen’s fundamental rights of “Right to Live” and “Freedom of Movement”,” the plea stated.He further sought directions to the Centre, states and Union Territories to implement Sections 11 (3) (b) and (c) and 38 (2) (ea) of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act-1960 (PCA Act).The plea also sought quashing of Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001 contending that it is violative of PCA Act and also violative of Article 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India. In PCA Act, there is only one category of a particular animal specifically mentioned to destroy, ie “destruction of stray dogs in lethal chambers”.Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules gives full protection to stray dogs, which is against PCA Act, the plea added. It further sought a direction to “enact necessary laws to introduce and implement licensing system to keep dogs, so that no stray dog is allowed on Indian streets”.

300 persons prosecuted under Maharashtra’s beef ban law within 8 months

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The state government on Saturday in its affidavit before the Bombay high court, provided the information that over 300 persons have been prosecuted under Maharashtra’s new beef ban law ever since March 2015, as reported by an English daily. The division bench consisting of Justices Abhay Oka and S C Gupte, was made aware about the conditions in the state right from when the law was brought into force to October, wherein 155 cases were lodged under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act. While Amravati topped the list with 54 cases, Mumbai only registered two FIRs. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The cases registered were related to the sale or transport of bulls, bullock for slaughter as well as for possession of meat of a cow, bull or bullock. These charges are punishable with imprisonment of up to five years and a fine of Rs 10,000 and a jail term of one year and a fine of upto Rs 2,000 respectively. The High Court while hearing the petition, primarily focussed on section 5D, which criminalises possession of beef.While the petition filed by citizens of Mumbai stated that court needs to protect their rights, as they belong to “cultural minority”, who consume beef. Advocate general S G Aney and advocate Hiten Venegavkar, representing the state, said that, “India is a vast country and people have different cuisine as part of their daily food. Eating a particular food does not entitle the constitution of a minority… The state’s objective is not to impose a vegetarian regime.”The next hearing of this case has been scheduled for December 9.

Human foetus among specimens seized from Delhi private school

Dissection banned in schools, not to speak of wildlife * A non-bailable offence, those convicted could be sentenced for 3-7 years

The recovered human foetus, dissection box and other specimens

Acting on a tip-off, police and members of People for Animals (PFA) – an NGO helmed by BJP leader and Union minister Maneka Gandhi – raided a private school here on Thursday and to their surprise found female foetus among other species preserved in the lab there. Police seized 30 jars, which also contained preserved remains of a stingray, frog, kingfisher, snakes, a collection of claws and bird beaks. The eight-member search team was led by sub-inspector Vikram Singh and Gaurav Gupta of the PFA. “We came to know that the school was dissecting animals as part of the school syllabus,” said Saurabh Gupta, vice-president, PFA. “We immediately informed Maneka Gandhi and she proved to be instrumental in alerting the police officials about this,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> When the police reached the school at around 1:30 pm they found the dissection kit open along with a few jars containing animal specimens. Upon further inquiry, the students who were present in the science lab on the ground floor of the school building at the time led the team to a locked room within the lab where upon, wildlife specimens and a human foetus of a female was found deep inside a cupboard. According to Gaurav, principal Urmila Malik and owner Dharampal Sivas, initially feigned ignorance about the matter. The duo also failed to produce relevant permissions and certificates to justify the presence of the seized items. Garuav has been part of more than 100 raids over the course of his career, and immediately recognised the foetus and certain other obvious aquatic species. Despite repeated attempts, the school authorities were unavailable for comment. According to the staff there, the principal and the vice-principal were both taken ill and had left before school was done for the day. The CBSE-affiliated school has classes only up to standard X, and hence no requirement for a practical knowledge of this calibre, said Gaurav Pandey, himself a teacher. “In the science labs, the students usually conduct experiments related to chemistry. For biology, it’s is hardly done, that too with specimens,” he added. According to a ruling by the Animal Welfare Board of India, dissection is banned in schools across the country. To conduct dissection for educational purposes, a special permission must be taken from the board with complete details of the animal that would be dissected. Wildlife is not permitted for dissection at all. A case has been registered against the principal and the owner under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 under sections 9, 39, 42, 50, 51 and 315/428 of the IPC. This is a non-bailable offence and if convicted carries a sentence of 3-7 years. Bal Ram, SHO, Sangam Vihar police station said, “The samples have been sent for testing. It would be unfair to comment on the matter before we get the results.”

Kerala High Court says local bodies to act against stray dogs in line with legal provisions

The division bench comprising Chief Justice Ashok Bhushan and A M Shaffique insisted authorities should ensure strict compliance of Rules 7, 9 and 10 of Animal Birth Control Rules (Dogs) 2001.
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dna Research & Archives
Observing that there has to be more concern for protecting the lives of human beings than stray dogs, Kerala High Court on Wednesday said local bodies can exercise their power to capture, sterilise or destroy the strays, provided it is done in accordance with legal provisions.The division bench comprising Chief Justice Ashok Bhushan and A M Shaffique insisted authorities should ensure strict compliance of Rules 7, 9 and 10 of Animal Birth Control Rules (Dogs) 2001.Rules 7, 9 and 10 deal with capturing dog on specific complaint, euthanasia and handling of rabid dogs.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”There cannot be any dispute with the proposition that there has to be more concern with the life of human beings than that of stray dogs and there cannot be any quarrel to the proposition that local authorities can exercise the power to capture and destroy the stray dogs and this exercise has to be carried out in accordance with provisions of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and Animal Birth Control Rules (Dogs) 2001,” the High Court said in its judgement.The court also criticised the local bodies’ inaction in implementing the provisions of Act and Rules in the state. The High Court, which pronounced the 86-page judgement while disposing of 12 writ petitions related to stray dogs, ruled that vaccination and sterilisation of stray dogs be made compulsory and veterinary hospitals and polyclinics should be set up in district and taluk level.The Animal Welfare Board of India was also directed to take steps to provide financial help for building infrastructure to deal with the dog menace. Rule 7 stipulates that capturing of dogs shall be based on specific complaints (for which the local authority in consultation with the Monitoring Committee shall set up a dog control cell to receive complaints about dog nuisance, dog bites and information about rabid dogs).”On receipt of specific complaint about nuisance or dog bite the same shall be attended on priority basis,irrespective of the area from which the complaint comes. On receipt of such complaint,details such as name of the complainant,his complete address, date and time of complaint, nature of complaint etc shall be recorded in a register to be maintained for permanent record,” it says.Rule 9 deals with euthanasia of street dogs. “Incurably ill and mortally wounded dogs as diagnosed by a qualified veterinarian appointed by the committee shall be euthanised during specified hours in a humane manner by administering sodium pentathol for adult dogs and Thiopental Introperitoneal for puppies by a qualified veterinarian or euthanised in any other humane manner approved by Animal Welfare Board of India,” it says.The Rule says that no dog shall be euthanised in the presence of another dog. According to it, on receipt of complaints from the public to the Dog Control Cell of the Local Authority or on its own, the dog squad of the Local Authority would catch such dogs, suspected to be rabid.The Rule says the dog would then be taken to the pound, where it would be kept in an isolation ward. It would then be subjected to inspection by a panel of two persons — a veterinarian surgeon appointed by the Local Authority and a representative from an Animal Welfare Organisation.”If the dog is found to have a high probability of having rabies it would be isolated till it dies a natural death. Death normally occurs within 10 days of contracting rabies. Premature killings of suspected rabid dogs therefore prevents the true incidence of rabies from being known and appropriate action being taken. But if it is found not to have rabies but some other disease, it would be handed over to the AWOs who will take the necessary action to cure and rehabilitate the dog,” it says.The High Court said local authorities shall ensure that dog shelters, dog capturers and ambulances are in place by next financial year. It directed the state government to provide infrastructure and financial assistance to local authorities.

Kick row: Minister Kusum Mahdale says it was a drunk youth, not boy

Under flak for allegedly kicking a boy, Madhya Pradesh Minister Kusum Mahdale has been summoned by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan.

ANI
Under flak for allegedly kicking a boy, Madhya Pradesh Minister Kusum Mahdale has been summoned by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan.However, Mahdale has denied the incident saying it was actually a “drunk youth” who tripped on and fell on her feet, even as Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan appealed for “sensitivity” towards others in the backdrop of the controversy.The Animal Husbandry Minister, who is in the midst of the row after a video clipping purportedly showing her kicking the boy went viral, clarified that the boy in question was a 20-year old youth who was “highly” drunk and lost his balance and fell on her feet when she was returning from a programme at Panna bus stand area.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She also said the youth was not known to her.The purported incident had taken place at a function organised to celebrate Madhya Pradesh Foundation Day near bus stand in Panna district yesterday.Meanwhile, evading a direct reply, Chouhan told reporters in Dewas that everyone should be sensitive towards others.”The Minister (Mahdele) has given her clarification on the issue…(we) will see and probe it to clear the situation.Everyone should remain sensitive in such matters,” he said.Earlier in the day Mahdale said that the video being played on news channels was an “absolute lie”.In the video, Mahdele, one of the senior members of the state Cabinet, was seen kicking the boy as he bowed to touch her feet at a function organised to celebrate Madhya Pradesh Foundation Day near the bus stand in Panna district.”As I was going towards my car, there was a reporter who with a cameraman came to take my interview. I was answering some questions while moving towards my car when somebody fell on my feet. Nothing more than this happened. So, I didn’t even see his face. I have not seen any video yet. The video being played on various channels is an absolute lie,” she said earlier today.Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Manish Tewari demanded that Mahdele should be sacked over the issue.The Aam Aadmi Party too sought her resignation and petitioned the Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission for stern action against her.

Maharashtra: Dead leopard found with its paws cut off

According to wildlife activists, leopard claws are used to make ornaments and they garner high price in black markets.

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In Maharashtra’s Raigad district, an adult leopard was found dead with its paws severed on Tuesday. The forest officials, judging by the condition of the carcass, suspect that poachers had killed it, reports a leading English daily.A metal ring was found around the carcass. According to the report, an official said that the object was used to trap and kill the cat. As soon as the animal slips in the ring, it contracts in size and smothers the animal.The Raigad police have been informed. No arrests are made so far.According to wildlife activists, leopard claws are used to make ornaments and they garner high price in black markets.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Dog meat export proposal in Kerala being countered by animal rights organisation

After presidents in Ernakulam district made a proposal to export dog meat to solve the problem of stray dogs, animal rights organisation Humane Society International is fighting against them.

dna Research & Archives
An animal rights organisation on Tuesday termed as “illegal” a controversial resolution adopted by gram panchayats in a Kerala district proposing export of dog meat to China to counter stray dog population, saying the state government was bound to follow rules established by the Centre in this regard.N G Jayasimha, Managing Director, Humane Society International, India, said Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001, formulated under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, to manage population of stray dogs, “is proven to reduce stray dog population, reduce incidence of bites and rabies and the state of Kerala is bound to follow these rules, as established by the Central Government. I request you to instruct the Panchayats to abide by the law and ask them to channel their time, energy and resources in legal, scientific and humane methods as per the Animal Birth Control Dog Rules 2001, to control stray dog population and not resort to illegal, unscientific and illogical ideas such as trade in dog meat,” he said in a letter to Kerala Panchayats and Social Welfare Minister M K Muneer.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>HSI, which works on animal protection issues around the world, also cited the Food Safety and Standards Authority order which expressly prohibits slaughtering of animals which are not specified under Regulation 2.5 of the Food Safety & Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulation, 2011.Last week, gram panchayat presidents in Ernakulam district had adopted a controversial resolution proposing that the dog meat be “exported” to South Korea, China and the north-east, to counter the rising menace of stray dogs. The resolution was introduced by Edakkttuvayal Gram Panchayat President K R Jayakumar at a meeting of the Ernakulam District Panchayat Presidents’ Association. “In my proposal to counter the menace of stray dogs, I suggested that we should utilise the opportunity. We should export stray dog meat to generate foreign money. People in northeast and countries like China and South Korea consume dog meat on a large scale. If we export canines to these countries, we can address the problems of stray dog attacks on humans,” Jayakumar had said.During 2014-15, some 1.06 lakh people in Kerala were bitten by dogs. Union Minister Maneka Gandhi has expressed concern over the way local bodies in Kerala handle stray dog menace.

No decision to cull stray dogs, says Kerala Tourism Minister

In the past couple of weeks, the Kerala government and its tourism sector have faced a backlash through social networking mediums over the stray dog issue in the state, with a group of animal activists and the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) launching an online campaign calling for boycott of Kerala.

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Describing as ‘baseless’ allegations by animal activists that the state government had decided to cull all stray dogs, Kerala Tourism Minister AP Anil Kumar today said only the rabid dogs which pose danger to people would be eliminated.”The allegations are baseless; the government has decided to kill only rabid and dangerous stray dogs because of the dangers they have posed to people, particularly to children, over the past few months,” he said in a statement here.Rebutting the allegation, following agitations in various parts of the country over the issue, he said the “Worldwide Boycott Kerala Movement 2015″ on the social media was based on ‘misinformation’.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the past couple of weeks, the Kerala government and its tourism sector have faced a backlash through social networking mediums over the stray dog issue in the state, with a group of animal activists and the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) launching an online campaign calling for boycott of Kerala.The campaign, which was also conducted in metros like Kolkata, Delhi and Bengaluru, requests people to not select Kerala as their tourist destination till the government rescinds its decision to kill stray dogs.”There is no decision to kill all dogs, as mentioned in the online petition,” the Minister said.In fact, the #Visit Kerala campaign, initially started by the tourism department to market the state, has been taken up passionately by local people in response to the allegations. “The government has decided to implement an Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme at veterinary hospitals,” he said.It has been decided to start sterilisation in 50 veterinary hospitals with primary facilities across the state, and to implement anti-rabies immunisation in all veterinary hospitals.State Tourism Secretary G Kamala Vardhana Rao said :”I do not believe that the online campaign will affect Kerala s tourism. The state registers a steady growth in the domestic and international tourist arrivals annually.””Kerala is an animal-friendly and pet-loving state. We will soon implement measures for the registration of pet dogs through local self-governing bodies,” he said.He also pointed out that the state’s “sensitive” treatment of rabid and stray dogs would make Kerala a more tourism-friendly and safer place.

How these animal lovers are rescuing India’s holy cow

To date, Waste Warriors has rescued 38 cows and bulls from the streets of Dehradun. The majority of these animals arrive with a variety of injuries and ailments for which they receive treatment from a small but dedicated team.

Jodie Underhill at Kanji House

The Kanji House in Kedarpuram, Dehradun is a thriving bovine rescue centre, currently home to 20 cows and bulls rescued from the streets of Dehradun city. Surprisingly, only about three months ago, this local amenity was lying unused after its inauguration two years ago. Jodie Underhill, CEO and co-founder of Waste Warriors, an NGO committed to tackling India’s garbage problem, discovered the shelter when she rescued a highly distressed calf that had been let loose on a busy street. When she spoke to the local Municipality, they sent a vehicle for the animal. But Jodie, who hails from England, heard the driver say something disturbing: “Let’s take it to the cow jail”. That’s when she discovered the empty cow shelter.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Municipality didn’t have the funds to run the shelter, so after several months of negotiations, Waste Warriors was permitted to take on Kanji House after signing an MoU with the Dehradun Municipal Corporation on March 31, 2015. The slaughter of cows and bulls is illegal in many states of India as they are considered holy, but when a cow stops producing milk or a bull is born, they are often left on the streets to fend for themselves. Apart from causing traffic hazards, this forces the animals to forage through dustbins and waste containers to survive. To date, Waste Warriors has rescued 38 cows and bulls from the streets of Dehradun. The majority of these animals arrive with a variety of injuries and ailments for which they receive treatment from a small but dedicated team. The centre is manned round the clock to ensure the welfare of the animals. The organisation later received authorisation to remove cows and bulls allowed to roam freely on the streets by their owners, which is an offence as per the Protection of Cow Progeny Act 1997. At Kanji House, the owners of the confiscated animals are fined Rs 200 per day and charged a daily fodder fee of Rs 70 as set by the Municipality, when they come to claim their animals. The NGO believes that news of the confiscation and fines is spreading amongst the cow owning community and is proving to be a clear deterrent. Veterinarian Dr Rakesh Nautiyal who visits the rescue centre once a week to check on the animals and is on call at other times says, “I see the number of stray animals on the streets here reducing rapidly since Kanji House became operational again. Also, now we have a place for the sick and injured animals which is definitely a boon to the city’s animal population.”Animal rescue is not easy; many of the animals are not used to being handled and are afraid of human beings. “We have rescued huge bulls that are aggressive due to fear and pain, calves that are hungry and distraught after being separated from their mothers and have often worked through the night to carry out physiotherapy on animals that cannot stand up,” says Jodie. She recalls an incident where one animal that was dead on arrival at the shelter, had its ears eaten off by dogs whilst it was still alive. It had been left on the road, unable to stand for two days, and yet no one had reported it or tried to save it. “Animal rescue is often heart-breaking, but it’s also rewarding, they know you are trying to help them. Ofcourse, we can’t save them all, but at least they leave this world feeling loved instead of frightened and unwanted at the side of a road. These animals have no voice, but they feel pain and love just like we do,” says Jodie. Waste Warriors is now launching an cow adoption scheme where people can donate Rs 2,000 per month to cover the costs of taking care of a cow/bull. Participants in the scheme will receive an adoption certificate and regular updates about the welfare and progress of their adopted animal.Sonali Gupta, an animal rescue informant says, “I reported a injured bull near my house that had burns on its hind end. The bull was captured in a very efficient and humane manner and thanks to being treated at the Kanji house by the Waste Warriors team, it has recovered quite amazingly”.People in Dehradun can call the helpline number on Waste Warriors’ Facebook page to report any injured or distressed cows and bulls as well as follow the progress of the animals being cared for at Kanji House.The NGO is currently in need of monetary help to run the shelter since the three-month trial period is over. Members of the public and volunteers can also visit the shelter, feed the animals or take a tour around the shelter. For any contributions, Jodie can be contacted on email at [email protected]

Elephants in Palakkad’s temples face cruelty: Animal Welfare Board of India

Reports says organisers did not have the mandatory permissions issued by the environment and forest ministry

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Marvelous arrangement of colors, people, and decorated elephants make Kerala temple festival very attractive, but the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) reports suggest otherwise. Their report reveals that elephants with injuries were paraded and were forced to stand for hours in hot and humid climate without any protection by the organisers of temple festivals in Kerala, recently.The organiser has violated the Supreme Court’s directions which had stated all the organisers, owners of the elephants and the festival co-ordination committee to ensure that no elephant was engaged in the performance of any festival activities or meted out with cruelty.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three separate reports, which dna has the access, mentioned that the elephants with abscesses, wounds, foot ailments, cataract, impaired vision of dermatitis were used during the festivals.The reports were prepared by the AWBI after it carried out spot inspections in Mudappallur, Kannambra and Anjumoorthy of Palakkad district in May this year.”If it is established before this court that an elephant has been meted out with cruelty, the organisers, the committee members and any one involved with it shall be impleaded in the case and be proceeded for contempt,” aSupreme Court bench had said while hearing a PIL filed by an NGO Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center highlighting the cruelty meted out to these animals.The AWBI has alleged that the organisers of the vela (festival) did not even have the mandatory permission required from the Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) and also Guidelines for Care and Management of Captive Elephants, issued by the environment and forest ministry.According to the reports, which were filed before the apex court, the district animal husbandry office has given in writing to AWBI that no fitness certificates were issued by it for the elephants who were forced to participate in the festivals.”Despite ban on ankush (sharp metal hooked weapons with spear tip point) by the wildlife department, majority of mahouts were found to be carrying it. They were also seen with iron rods to induce fear and restrict the elephants’ movements.”All the elephants were spotted tethered with short chains and all four legs were chained in such a way so that they can’t take even single step forward or backward….,” as stated in the report adding that no minimum standards of health assessment to evaluate the existing physical and mental problems of the elephants were done by the forest department.

Don’t intrude on people’s privacy over beef ban: Bombay HC tells Maha govt

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday declined to stay provisions of a recent Maharashtra law which prohibits possession, transportation and consumption of meat of cow, bulls and bullocks even if the animals have been slaughtered outside Maharashtra.

A division bench headed by Justice V M Kanade was of the view that no stay can be given until the final hearing of a bunch of petitions challenging the beef ban which was fixed on 25 June.

Bombay High Court. IBNLiveBombay High Court. IBNLive

Bombay High Court. IBNLive

The court asked the state government to file a detailed affidavit on the issue within four weeks and allowed the petitioners and intervenors to file rejoinders two weeks thereafter.

As a note of caution, the Court also said that the state shall not intrude on the privacy of citizens to find out if they are in possession of beef or any other form of meat.

The Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, enforced last month by the state government, bans slaughter of cows, bulls and bullocks and also consumption and possession of their meat.

Three petitions were filed challenging Sections 5(d) and 9(a) of the Act which prohibits possession, transportation and consumption of meat of cow, bulls and bullocks even if the animals have been slaughtered outside Maharashtra.

According to the petitions, this puts a ban on import of meat. The petitions sought a stay on these sections.

In another development, the court directed the state not to take any coercive action till pendency of petitions or three months against traders who have been found in possession or transportation of beef.

“This is because the Act had been introduced suddenly and reasonable time was not given to the traders to dispose of their products,” said the Judges. However, FIRs can be registered against such traders but no further action can be taken until the petitions are decided finally or three months whichever is earlier, the court said.

The court also clarified that since ban on beef continues in the State under the Act, FIRs can be registered against slaughter of cows, bulls and bullocks.

The court clarified that no blanket stay can be imposed on the provisions of the Act which ban transportation or possession of beef, though FIR can be registered against the offenders under the Act. The judges said they were of the view that the traders had not been given reasonable time to dispose of the beef products as the Act was brought in all of a sudden. Hence they directed the State not to take coercive steps against them though FIR can be registered.

“There can be no compelling reason for the State to impose ban without giving a reasonable opportunity to traders provided they abided by the rules on food hygiene and safety,” said the division bench in their brief order.

Senior counsel Aspi Chinoy, appearing for one of the petitioners, had argued that such a ban on consumption was violative of the fundamental right of a person to have his choice of food.

“Section 5 (d) is extremely invasive, drastic and intrusive. There is no real justification behind making possession and consumption of beef a cognisable offence. The government should not arbitrarily invade the rights of citizens,” Chinoy argued. He said that the state has not even contemplated regulation of import of meat.

“Five states in India, including Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana, have permitted import of beef despite a ban on slaughter of those animals. And in these states passion go high in such matters but it is still allowed,” Chinoy said.

Advocate General Sunil Manohar had, however, argued that consumption of beef is not a fundamental right of a citizen and the state government can regulate a person’s fundamental right to have his choice of food.

“It is not a fundamental right of a citizen to eat beef. It cannot be said that the government cannot take away these rights. The state legislation can regulate consumption of flesh of any animal the source of which is reprehensible. Under the Animal Protection Act, there is a prohibition on consumption of wild boar, deer and other animals,” he argued.

Manohar further argued that if section 5(d) of the Act, which prohibits possession of meat, is struck down then the Act would remain only on paper and it would frustrate the purpose and object of the Act which is to protect cow progeny.

PTI

Bombay High Court upholds Maharashtra government’s ban on beef

Three petitions were filed challenging sections 5 (d) and 9 (a) of the Act, which prohibit possession and consumption of meat of cow, bulls and bullocks even if the animals have been slaughtered outside Maharashtra.

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday upheld Maharashtra government’s ban on beef. However, it directed the government not to take any coercive steps for its possession for the next three months. A division bench headed by Justice V M Kanade was of the view that no stay can be given until the final hearing of a bunch of petitions challenging the beef ban which was fixed on June 25.The court asked the state government to file a detailed affidavit on the issue within four weeks and allowed the petitioners and intervenors to file rejoinders two weeks thereafter.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In another development, the court directed the state not to take any coercive action till pendency of petitions or three months against traders who have been found in possession or transportation of beef.”This is because the Act had been introduced suddenly and reasonable time was not given to the traders to dispose of their products,” said the Judges.However, FIRs can be registered against such traders but no further action can be taken until the petitions are decided finally or three months whichever is earlier, the court said.A bunch of petitions had challenged the ban by government on consumption and possession of meat of slaughtered cows, bulls and bullocks.The Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, enforced last month by the state government, bans slaughter of cows, bulls and bullocks and also consumption and possession of their meat.Three petitions were filed challenging sections 5 (d) and 9 (a) of the Act, which prohibit possession and consumption of meat of cow, bulls and bullocks even if the animals have been slaughtered outside Maharashtra.Also read: Anti-beef ban rally in Mumbai on May 5According to the petitions, this puts a ban on import of meat. The petitions had sought a stay on these sections. Senior counsel Aspi Chinoy, appearing for one of the petitioners, had argued that such a ban on consumption was violative of the fundamental right of a person to have his choice of food.”Five states in India, including Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana, have permitted import of beef despite a ban on slaughter of those animals. And in these states passion go high in such matters but it is still allowed,” Chinoy had said.Advocate General Sunil Manohar had, however, argued that consumption of beef is not a fundamental right of a citizen and the state government can regulate a person’s fundamental right to have his choice of food.”It is not a fundamental right of a citizen to eat beef. It cannot be said that the government cannot take away these rights. The state legislation can regulate consumption of flesh of any animal the source of which is reprehensible.Under the Animal Protection Act, there is a prohibition on consumption of wild boar, deer and other animals,” he argued.

Bombay HC reserves order on petitions challenging beef ban

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday reserved its order on a bunch of petitions challenging the recent ban on consumption and possession of meat of slaughtered cows, bulls and bullocks.

A division bench of justices VM Kanade and MS Sonak said it would pass its order next week.

The Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, enforced last month by the state government, bans slaughter of cows, bulls and bullocks and also consumption and possession of their meat.

Bombay High Court. IBNLiveBombay High Court. IBNLive

Bombay High Court. IBNLive

Three petitions were soon filed challenging sections 5 (d) and 9 (a) of the Act, which prohibit possession and consumption of meat of cow, bulls and bullocks even if the animals have been slaughtered outside Maharashtra.

According to the petitions, this puts a ban on import of meat. The petitions sought a stay on these sections.

Senior counsel Aspi Chinoy, appearing for one of the petitioners, had argued that such a ban on consumption was violative of the fundamental right of a person to have his choice of food.

“Section 5 (d) is extremely invasive, drastic and intrusive. There is no real justification behind making possession and consumption of beef a cognisable offence. The government should not arbitrarily invade the rights of citizens,” Chinoy argued.

He said that the state has not even contemplated regulation of import of meat.

“Five states in India, including Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana, have permitted import of beef despite a ban on slaughter of those animals. And in these states passion go high in such matters but it is still allowed,” Chinoy said.

Advocate General Sunil Manohar had, however, argued that consumption of beef is not a fundamental right of a citizen and the state government can regulate a person’s fundamental right to have his choice of food.

“It is not a fundamental right of a citizen to eat beef. It cannot be said that the government cannot take away these rights. The state legislation can regulate consumption of flesh of any animal the source of which is reprehensible. Under the Animal Protection Act, there is a prohibition on consumption of wild boar, deer and other animals,” he argued.

Manohar further argued that if section 5 (d) which prohibits possession is struck down then the Act would remain only on paper and it would frustrate the purpose and object of the Act which is to protect cow progeny.

PTI

Maharashtra govt to HC: Eating beef not a fundamental right

Mumbai: It is not a fundamental right of a citizen to eat beef and the state legislation can regulate consumption of flesh of animals, the Maharashtra government told the Bombay High Court on Tuesday.

Advocate General Sunil Manohar made this submission while opposing a bunch of petitions challenging the ban on slaughter of cows, bulls and bullocks, and consumption and possession of their meat, introduced under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

He said that the petitioners’ contention that a person can eat anything he wishes to other than human flesh cannot be accepted.

“It is not a fundamental right of a citizen to eat beef. It cannot be said that the government cannot take away these rights. The state legislation can regulate consumption of flesh of any animal the source of which is reprehensible.

Under the Animal Protection Act, there is a prohibition on consumption of wild boar, deer and other animals,” Manohar argued.

The petitions have challenged only sections 5(d) and 9(a) of the Act, which prohibit possession and consumption of meat of cow, bulls and bullocks even if the animals have been slaughtered outside Maharashtra. According to the petitions, this puts a ban on import of meat.

Senior counsel Aspi Chinoy, appearing for one of the petitioners, had argued that such a ban on consumption was violative of the fundamental right of a person to have his choice of food.

The state government in an affidavit filed yesterday, however, refuted this contention.

The Advocate General said there are several other food items that provide the same nutrition as that of beef.

He further argued that if section 5(d), which prohibits possession and consumption of beef, is struck down, then the Act would remain only on paper and it would frustrate the purpose and its object which is to protect cow progeny.

A division bench of justices VM Kanade and MS Sonak will continue hearing the arguments tomorrow.

PTI

34 animals seized from circus of torture in Nanded

Local administration and animal protection groups join hands to rescue all animals of Moonlight Circus; CZA, AWBI have withdrawn regulatory clearances.

On Thursday morning, Peanut, Mac and Coco hogged on fresh grass while Wally enjoyed a nice long mud bath at a transit facility of Wildlife SOS in Pune. Just two days earlier, they were in a living hell, standing in their own faeces with all four legs stretched out tightly with ropes. The four elephants were the last of the thirty-five animals used for performances by the Moonlight Circus, which is currently camping in Nanded, to be seized in one of the biggest animal rescue operations carried out in the state.In a joint effort by the local administration, the police and a bunch of animal protection organisations, rescued the 34 animals, including around 12 dogs, a camel, 4 horses and birds like African Grey Parrots, cockatoos, macaws and parakeets, from the most deplorable conditions in a systematic manner. This happened after over two years of keenly observing the treatment of the animals by the circus members. The organisations involved were – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO), People for Animals (PFA) Hyderabad, PFA Pune, PFA Uttarakhand, PFA Wardha, Resquink Association for Wildlife Welfare (RAWW), Thane Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and Wildlife SOS. An FIR has also been registered against the circus under relevant sections of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, Wildlife Protection Act and Bombay Police Act.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Moonlight Circus, which is registered in Assam but travels across the country, has been violating countless rules of the Central Zoo Authority (CZA), the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and several sections of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act for several years. Trouble for it first began last year on April 25, when the AWBI suspended the circus’ registration certificate as well as served the manager a show cause notice demanding an explanation as to why it should not be revoked. Prashant Achariya, campaign manager, FIAPO, said, “This circus is a repeat offender which was given several chances to reform but didn’t. Hence, we were authorised by the AWBI to conduct an inspection.” In March this year, Achariya and his team observed the animals for three to four days. What they saw, was heart-breaking. “The elephants could hardly move because each of their legs were stretched out and tied with nylon ropes. We could see open wounds on them. We saw pointed metal sticks that are used to train animals by hurting them. These instruments are banned. They had no exercise. There was some dry grass lying next to them but hardly any water. They were also showing signs of stereotypic behaviour, like bobbing their heads and swaying, indicating the mental trauma that a captive animal suffers from,” he said.The other animals were equally neglected. “Most of the performing dogs they had were Pomeranians. One of them was heavily pregnant, yet she was kept in a small cage with the other dogs. One dog did not have an eye and they all drank from one dirty bowl. The birds had lost their primary feathers which help them fly. We noticed blood on the feathers. There was no shelter from the heat and just a few dried seeds were kept in their cages. The camel had sores because of sitting for hours together and had bitten itself. The horses had open wounds due to poking. Some were so weak they could not lift their legs,” added Achariya.On October 2 last year, the CZA cancelled the circus’s recognition as a ‘captive animal facility’. This it did after receiving complaints that the circus was using blind elephant Bijli for performances besides housing an elephant calf illegally. The move followed a probe by a team comprising a CZA member, an animal welfare officer, a range forest officer and a vet, which found gross violations on the part of the circus.Moonlight’s continuous failure to improve living conditions for its animals also came up in PETA’s investigation of 16 Indian circuses between November 2012 and July 2013.The eye-opening investigation exposed rampant use of torture devices, animals who had died from inadequate care or gone missing, drunk circus staff and nearly constant chaining and caging of animals who showed signs of severe psychological distress. It also found blank veterinary health certificate photocopies with the sign and stamp of a doctor in possession of Rajkamal circus. “Our aim is to ban the use of animals in circuses. We have been studying the inherent cruelty of these circuses and presented our study to environment ministry. We have already rescued one elephant from another circus previously,” said Dr Chaitanya Koduri of PETA.”We have been camping there since March 23. We made endless trips from the court to the police to the district collector. Arranging the travelling of the elephants was a tough job for all the organisations involved. We also had to deal with the locals, some of whom were getting agitated. But seeing the elephants finally leave that hell hole was absolutely worth it,” said Pawan Sharma, president of city-based RAWW.Several activists involved in the rescue work said this could not have been possible without the prompt action taken by the district collector, the Nanded police and the forest department. Sub-inspector T R Bhalerao from Nanded police station, the investigating officer in the case, said, “Three people were arrested in the case, the manager of the circus and his two assistants. They are now out on bail. We obtained court orders to seize the animals, and arrested them under sections 73, 74 of the Bombay Police Act, section 11 (1) (a) (b) (i) (m) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and section 38 (3) of the Wildlife Protection Act. They can face a maximum of 7 years in jail.”Now, all hopes are pinned on the rehabilitation of these animals. Peanut, Wally, Coco and Mac are on their way to the Wildlife SOS Elephant Care Centre in Haryana, known to be a blessing for rescued animals, where they will be rehabilitated. “The rest of the animals are currently in PFA Wardha. The dogs, after court proceedings, will hopefully find new homes. The camel will be sent to Rajasthan or Gujarat. The macaws will stay in PFA Wardha,” said Manoj Oswal, PFA specialist on law enforcement, who handled the legal hurdles in the case. Hopefully, this is the end of cruelty, and the beginning of a new life for them.

Maneka Gandhi opposes Army’s animal sacrifice practices

Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi, an avid animal rights activist, has declared the Indian army’s traditions of “animal sacrifice” and “airdropping live animals” as acts of animal cruelty.

Maneka Gandhi. AFPManeka Gandhi. AFP

Maneka Gandhi. AFP

According to the Indian Express, the Union Minister has written a letter to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and asked him to stop the practice of animal sacrifice in the Gorkha regiment and another of air-dropping living animals for regiments posted in inaccessible areas to provide them fresh meat.

Gandhi had written the similar letter to ex Defense Minister Arun Jaitley as well. According to her, “It may have had its use during that period when communication and roads were not available, but there is no reason why the animal should be subjected to such cruel practices in present times, especially when pre-packaged meat products are easily available.”

However, the Gorkha regiment’s customs of animal sacrifice has been around since the time of the British.

Goats, buffaloes and other animals are ritually sacrificed by the regiment. Tradition dictates that the buffalo’s head must be cut off cleanly with a single blow in order to secure the regiment good fortune for the coming year.

Three booked in Malegaon under Maharashtra’s new beef ban law

Nashik: In the first case registered under the new beef ban law in Maharashtra, three persons have been booked for allegedly slaughtering calves in Malegaon town of the district and search is on to trace them.

Acting on a tip-off, police raided a shack in Azad Nagar area, about 90 kms from here, and seized two heads of slaughtered calves and 150 kg of beef, assistant police inspector Shivaji Bantewad said on Thursday.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The new Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, banning slaughter of bulls and bullocks, was enforced by the BJP-led Government on 4 March.

Under the law, anyone found selling beef or possessing it can be jailed upto five years and fined Rs 10,000.

Offences have been registered against the accused — Rashid alias Pandya, Hamid alias Lendi and Asif Talathi — under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, the police officer said.

Samples of the beef were sent to Mumbai for laboratory tests while the rest of it had been disposed of, he said.

Search is on to nab the three absconding persons, he said adding that further investigation is on.

The beef ban has triggered protests from some political and cultural outfits, arguing that it amounted to encroachment of individual choices and food habits of a large section of people, especially minority communities.

However, state Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar had yesterday defended the enforcement of the law holding that during the national movement, Mahatma Gandhi backed total ban on cow slaughter and even veteran Congress leaders like Motilal Vora supported the cause.

“Congress leader Motilal Vora and Gandhian Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari had written to the state government seeking ban on cow slaughter. We liked the idea and accepted it,” Mungantiwar said while replying to a two-day debate on state budget in the Assembly.

PTI

Beef banned in Maharashtra: 5 years jail, Rs 10,000 for possession and sale

The bill banning cow slaughter in Maharashtra, pending for several years, on Monday received the President’s assent, which means red meat lovers in the state will have to do without beef.

This measure has taken almost twenty years to materialize and was initiated during the previous Sena-BJP government.The bill was  first submitted to the President for approval on January 30, 1996.. However, subsequent governments at the Centre, including the BJP led NDA stalled it and did not seek the President’s consent.

A delegation of seven state BJP MPs led by Kirit Somaiya, (MP from Mumbai North) had met the President in New Delhi recently and submitted a memorandum seeking assent to the bill. The memorandum said that the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 1995, passed during the previous Shiv Sena-BJP regime, was pending for approval for 19 years.

“Thanks a lot honourable President sir for the assent on Maharashtra Animal Preservation Bill. Our dream of ban on cow-slaughter becomes reality now,” chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Twitter. A delegation of seven state BJP MPs had met the President recently and submitted a memorandum.

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

The law will ban beef from the slaughter of bulls and bullocks, which was previously allowed based on a fit-for-slaughter certificate, according to The Indian Express. The new Act will, however, allow the slaughter of water buffaloes.

The punishment for the sale of beef or possession of it could be prison for five years with an additional fine of Rs 10,000. “Apart from rendering people jobless, the immediate effect will be the spiralling price of other meats as people will be forced to gravitate to them,” Indian Express quoted president of the Mumbai Suburban Beef Dealer Association Mohammed Qureshi as saying.

Reuters had earlier reported that Hindu nationalists in India had stepped up attacks on the country’s beef industry, seizing trucks with cattle bound for abattoirs and blockading meat processing plants in a bid to halt the trade in the world’s second-biggest exporter of beef.

An official at a beef transport group in Maharashtra state said around 10 vehicles travelling to Mumbai had been stopped in the last week of February, the animals taken forcefully and drivers beaten up by members of Hindu nationalist groups despite carrying valid documents.

However, a BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari told The Hindu that the party’s efforts to seek a ban on slaughter of calves should not be viewed with a communal lens but keeping in mind the “interests of agrarian communities.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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