HC asks the government to put in place a procedural protocol for the ethical treatment of animals

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The Meghalaya High Court on Friday requested the state government to put in place a procedural protocol for effective implementation of the rules and more ethical treatment of animals.

“The State would do well to consider the various suggestions to put in place a procedural protocol so that there can be effective enforcement of the rules and more ethical treatment of animals, regardless of the end use of those animals. this,” the Division Bench said in its order during the hearing of a PIL filed by the Gau Gyan Foundation.

The court said the petitioner suggested that appropriate rules or protocol of procedure be drawn up so that meetings are convened at regular intervals and that representatives of animal welfare organizations have a forum to hear their grievances in the event that their suggestions would not be respected. or respected by the senior officials of the relevant committees.

He reiterated that the petitioner is perfectly justified in pointing out this aspect of the matter. Often, committees are formed that never meet. Even though these committees meet once in a blue moon, very little comes out of these meetings.

The LIP relates to the treatment of animals in the state during transport or even slaughter of these.

Several aspects of animal abuse have been highlighted in the petition and during the proceedings.

The court said the petitioner said the state had taken several key steps to address the issue and ensure the animals are treated with more kindness and dignity than they had previously been afforded.

Notwithstanding the measures taken by the state, several other measures must be taken, both in terms of the treatment of animals and to ensure better hygiene, he said.

Referring to its previous orders which repeatedly referred to the brazen display of animal meat on the side of the road open to dust and grime, the court said: “Even in and around the capital of Shillong, the practice continues.”

“Apart from the distressing sight of exposed animal severed body parts, meat allowed to remain in such a state may not be ideal to eat,” he added.

The court said there was also the other issue of how the chickens are transported. Most often, large numbers of chickens are tied by the legs and hung from handlebars of bicycles or other forms of vehicles, most transported upside down.

“While animals were undoubtedly bred to eventually be slaughtered for food, there is an element of decency that must be maintained. The practice is now extremely cruel,” he said.

The petitioner had also raised four other points – the first relates to a July 12, 2019 notification by which instructions to regulate the transport of livestock within the state were issued.

The second aspect highlighted relates to paragraph 20(V) of the affidavit filed by the State on June 13, 2022. The third and fourth aspects are similar in that they refer to the constitution of the Animal Welfare Commission at the district or market level. committees and monitoring committees with representatives of animal protection organisations.

Regarding the transport of livestock, the petitioner stated that there are central rules which provide for the transport of various animals in different forms and the state should comply with them.

It is also the petitioner’s grievance that the instructions of July 12, 2019 regulate the entry of livestock but do not adequately provide for their transport within the State.

This is a point of some importance and the State will surely look into this aspect and, if advised, will issue new instructions to provide for the means of transport and the conditions thereof.

With respect to the seized animals, the state affidavit indicates that they would be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Care and Maintenance of Case Animals) Rules, 2017.

The petitioner points out that under the 2017 Regulations seized animals must be kept in various places and that the conditions for this have been set out in the said 2017 Regulations.

The petitioner complained that the state affidavit does not indicate proper infrastructure for the keeping of animals for the duration of the cases.

The next hearing will be on December 16.

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