The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday directed the Punjab and Haryana governments to consider various mechanisms to check cow smuggling from both states.
The direction came during the hearing of a public hearing litigation, wherein it has been alleged that there were loopholes in the system to give permits for the export of cows and that cows and other animals were being smuggled to slaughter houses.
The Haryana government, during the hearing, told the court that export permits of cows were given by the deputy director, animal husbandry department, deputy commissioners and subdivisional magistrates, and by veterinary surgeons at the local level. It also came to light that no centralised record was kept of animals being transported to other states.
The Punjab government told the court that permits for the export of animals were issued by district magistrates. As far as the centralised record was concerned, there was no such mechanism in place as of now.
Following this, the court bench of justice SK Mittal and justice Hari Pal Verma observed that the existing mechanism to give export permits of animals in both states needed to be strengthened so that animals were not smuggled to slaughter houses. The bench directed both states to file specific affidavits stating such measures in future. It was also suggested that local officials of the veterinary department keep a record of animals with photographs, and checks are put in place at various levels so that smuggling of animals could be checked. Both governments have to submit their replies before November 18, the next date of hearing.
During the hearing on the issue on September 22, the Punjab government had told the court that 110 FIRs had been registered in the state under the Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955 and these cases were at various stages of the trial. The court was also told that permits were not given for the export of cows to states where cow slaughter was not banned. Haryana, too, had stated that export permits were being given to the states where cow slaughter was banned.