Centre, Animal Welfare Board of India told to reply to PETA’s plea

Petition seeks prohibition of inhumane animal husbandry procedures in India

The Delhi High Court on Friday asked the Centre and the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) to respond to a petition seeking prohibition of “inhumane animal husbandry procedures” in the country.

A Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan also issued notices to animal husbandry departments of all States and Union Territories on the plea by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), India. It has listed the case for hearing on September 15.

PETA India has sought an immediate prohibition on the alleged procedures and “cruel” methods adopted for euthanasia of animals in India. It has also sought a direction to the Centre to make rules under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act “to define, regulate and improve the prescribed manner of animal husbandry practices”.

It has asked for adoption of standard operating procedures (SOPs) “for large animal castrations under field anaesthesia and for euthanasia with preceding anaesthethic overdose to relieve the suffering of individual animal or for mass killing of animals for disease control purpose”.

As per the Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diesases in Animals Act, 2009, mass killing of animals in the affected areas of such disease outbreak, declared by the State government as “control area”, is mandatory for further prevention and gaining control over the spread of the disease.

The petition stated that though the Act mandates euthanasia of the diseased animals and the healthy animals in the “control area”, they are often killed under crude and cruel methods such as burying and burning alive.

The plea also highlighted inhumane animal husbandry procedures, such as dehorning or removal of cattle’s horn, castration of cattle, hot-iron branding, and nose roping.

It asked for direction to replace the outdated practices such as replacing nose-ropes with face halter, breeding hornless cattle to replace the practice of dehorning, and use of minimally invasive animal identification methods, such as radio frequency identification devices, to replace branding.

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