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Eid ul-Adha: J & K Administration Clarifies “No Ban on Slaughter of Animals” on Bakra-Eid

M Kanika
M Kanika
J & K  Clarifies “No Ban on Slaughter of Animals” on Bakra-Eid
J & K Clarifies “No Ban on Slaughter of Animals” on Bakra-Eid

After its order to Ban slaughters of cow, calves and camels on Eid-ul-Azha that created an uproar, the Jammu & Kashmir administration on 16th July clarified that there were no bans on the slaughter of animals on Bakra-Eid, upcoming Muslim’s festival.

The Director Planning of Animal, Sheep Husbandry & Fisheries Department, G.L Sharma said earlier communication was “misconstrued”. “It was an older order, (but) a letter. Then the letter was sent to enforcement agencies to enforce the laws of Animal Welfare Board. G.L. Sharma clarified that “this is not a ban on slaughter & sacrifice”.

In an earlier communication to divisional commissioners & IGPs of Jammu and Kashmir, he had called for banning slaughter of cows, camels & calves on Bakra-Eid.

Huge number of sacrificial animals are likely to be slaughtered in the UT of Jammu & Kashmir during the Bakra Eid festival scheduled from 21st to 23rd July 2021. The Animal Welfare Board of India has requested for the implementation of all precautionary measures to strictly implement Animal Welfare Laws viz. 

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960: The Transport of Animal Welfare Rules, 1978:  The Transport of Animals Rules, 2001: The Slaughter Houses Rules,2001: Municipal Laws and Food Safety & Standard Authority of India directions for slaughtering the animals during the festival.

“In view of the above, I am directed to request you to take all preventive measures as per the provisions of acts & rules referred above for the implementation of animal welfare laws, to stop the illegal killing of animals and to take stringent action against the offenders violating welfare laws”, the letter added.

That letter created an uproar in Kashmir with an association of groups of Muslim scholars, who were calling it an “arbitrary” & “unacceptable”. The association, ‘Muttahida Majlis-e-Ulema’, said in a statement that “the sacrifice of permitted animals, including bovines” on Bakra-Eid “is an important tenet of region on this day”.  

On the occasion of Bakra-Eid festival, Muslims in Kashmir sacrifice animals worth Rs 500 crore. While most of the people of Srinagar & other urban areas sacrifice sheep & goat in villages, the oxen are also sacrificed. Sacrificing sheep, oxen, goat & camels is an important ritual for the Muslims on every Bakra-Eid.

In October 2015, the Jammu & Kashmir Court disposed of a petition on the beef ban issue, saying that court cannot direct the state to frame a particular law or enact the law in a particular manner. In July 2017, the Supreme Court had suspended a newly introduced law that banned the sale of cattle for the slaughter.

Despite the Muslims constituting around 68.3% of Jammu & Kashmir population, the slaughter of bovines & the sale of beef has been banned since, pre-partition era, when the then princely state was ruled by the Dogra rulers. During the Dogra era, ban on slaughtering of animal was strictly enforced across the state. 

Traditionally, the people of Kashmir mostly prefer mutton over the beef, especially in urban areas, the order to ban the beef in the past was seen as an attack on the religious identity, especially in Kashmir with separatists terming it as an “interference in the religion”. 

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