Bird Flu: HC adjourns hearing on ‘Ghazipur Murga Mandi’ issue

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Amid bird flu outbreak, the High Court of Delhi on Tuesday adjourned the hearing to March 8, on an application sought to seek direction to ensure that no birds are slaughtered in & around the ‘Ghazipur Murga Mandi’ in Delhi.

On Tuesday, the bench of Justice DN Patel & Justice Jyoti Singh adjourned the hearing on the petition with the main matter, which is scheduled for hearing on March 8, 2021.

Senior Counsel Raj Panjwani appeared for Petitioner earlier & stated that slaughtering of birds in a livestock market without appropriate licenses & in absence of the infrastructure mandated by law makes it a hot spot for the spread of diseases.

The petition was moved by Animals Right Activist Gauri Mulekhi. Through this application, it stated that the lack of hygiene is recorded & is evident in Ghazipur Murga Mandi is making it a breeding ground for the outbreak of a pandemic or susceptible to the current outbreak of Avian Influenza & thus is imposing severe danger to public health & safety.

The application was moved in an ongoing Public Interest Litigation (PIL) alleging that poultry birds are being traded & slaughtered illegally at the Ghazipur mandi in East Delhi.

According to the main PIL, the rampant illegal slaughter of approximately 2.5 lakhs poultry birds every day by wholesale traders in Ghazipur Murga Mandi is a violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 & other laws related to that.

The fresh application states that there has been a bird flu/Avian Influenza outbreak in the country. The outbreak has occurred in Rajasthan, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab & Haryana which has lead to the death & culling of thousands of birds & animals.

The Department of Animals Husbandry & Dairying, Govt of India has set up a control room in New Delhi to take stock on a daily basis of preventive & control measures undertaken by State Authorities.

“The Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab & Rajasthan are the major suppliers of poultry birds to Ghazipur Murga Mandi situated in East Delhi. In the past, Ghazipur Murga Mandi has been the epicentre for Avian flu outbreak in Delhi, because of its unchecked transportation & slaughtering of lakhs of birds on a daily basis that are brought from other states,” plea states.

Plea alleges that Ghazipur Murga Mandi, is the biggest illegal chicken slaughter hub of NCT of Delhi. It functions in complete disregard to law & follows no veterinary health check protocols. More than 2 lakh birds that are brought into this market daily & are not screened for any disease. No ante-mortem or post mortem is performed nor are any heath records of the birds maintained. This place is not only an illegal slaughter area but is also a breeding ground for pathogens & diseases.

Unhygienic conditions in which the Ghazipur Murga Mandi operate in absence of any health check of birds make the Avian Influenza easily spread in this market & could impose severe danger to public health & safety.

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