Animal Slaughter not allowed in Private Premises: High Court

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In light of an existing order, which restricts slaughtering goats in private premises, the High Court of Bombay has directed the civic corporation to ensure that slaughtering takes place only at the certified slaughterhouse in the city at Deonar.

The directions were prompted after a petition was filed, stating that owing to the Covid-19 outbreak, shops should be restrained from slaughtering goats in their premises, as it led to overcrowding of buyers & thus defeats the purpose of lockdown & social distancing. It also poses a health threat to the people living in the vicinity of the shop, as disposal of waste is not as per norms, the PIL said.

A division bench of Justices SJ Kathawalla & Riyaz Chagla was hearing a plea of Santacruz (East) resident Rajeshkumar Kanojia. The bench was informed by Lawyer Vivek Shukla that his client resided in a Kalina building, which housed a mutton shop on the ground floor. Shukla submitted that the shop owner not only kept livestock, but also undertook slaughtering of goats in the shop premise. This, Shukla submitted, posed a dual-threat in the form of overcrowding of the shop, which resulted in violation of social distancing norms. Shukla added that the livestock roamed freely in the building premise & the disposal of waste after the slaughtering was also not done properly.

He submitted that even though his client had complained to the local municipal authorities on numerous occasions, no action had been taken & hence he had no option but to approach the court. Shukla said that such a practice was prevalent in many shops across the city, though there was an order of a previous bench restricting slaughtering of animals outside of the certified abattoir in the city which is at Deonar. Thus, orders should be passed to curb such activities outside the Deonar slaughterhouse, argued Shukla.

While defending his action, the butcher running the mutton shop in the petitioner’s building alleged that he had a license to operate the shop from the civic body.

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Responding to the plea, the civic body, through advocate Oorja Dhond, submitted that it had not given any licence to the shop owner to slaughter or store any livestock in the premises. Dhond submitted that the butcher was only issued a license to sell the meat, sourced from the Deonar abattoir, & hence could not use it as a permission to slaughter at his shop.

After hearing the submissions, the bench directed the butcher to refrain from slaughtering any animal in the building premises or any other place apart from the Deonar abattoir & disposed of the plea.

The order gains prominence ahead of Bakri Eid, on Aug 1, during which members of the Muslim community offer sacrifices by slaughtering goats & sheep.

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