Halal Row: Animal Husbandry Dept mandates ‘stunning’ of animal before slaughter
Amid the controversial call for the ban of halal meat ahead of Ugadi celebrations, the Department of Animal Husbandry has mandated that animals be “stunned” before being slaughtered for meat.
As controversy regarding the usage of halal meat by Hindus after Ugadi celebrations prevails, the Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services has mandated in a circular dated April 1, that animals have to ‘stunned’ before they can be slaughtered for meat.
This comes after animal lovers pointed towards the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Rules, which were drafted in 2001. These rules state that animals need to stunned before they can be slaughtered.
The stunning process ensures the animal is unconscious and insensible to pain before being bled out at the slaughter house.
As per Section 6 in The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughter House) Rules, 2001, rule number 4, 'every slaughter house as soon as possible shall provide a separate space for stunning of animals prior to slaughter, bleeding and dressing of the carcasses.'
The order was passed by the Union government in 2001, and the rule has since then existed in books, however, after activists brought it back in the public eye, it is being pressed for implementation.
It is being reported that Bangalore Urban District AHVS Deputy Director and SPCA Member Dr. Umapathi has issued circulars to all Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCAs) in Bengaluru Urban District on Friday for following mandatory stunning of animals and making them unconscious before slaughtering them as per PCA (Slaughter House) Rules 2001.
Following this, the Animal Husbandry department also mandated the rule, asking the BBMP to supervise if meat shops are equipped with the stunning facilities. The department also asked BBMP to submit a report to the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals whether or not the practice of 'stunning' is being followed or not.
However, Prabhu Chauhan, the Minister of State for Animal Husbandry Department told TV9 that his department has not issued the mandatory ‘stunning’ order. "No orders have been issued by our department. Stunning is not mandatory. There was only a letter written that Halal cut should not be practiced. There was no order issued. I will review the letter," he said.
Meanwhile, a discussion ensued on social media by both animal lovers and meat lovers. One Twitterati said, “No matter what you call it or how much u debate - Halal, stunning or jhatka, the animal is going to suffer and die. #GoVegan if you truly want healthy food or wish to save animal life.”
While, another user wrote, "Halal meat is against international animal slaughter conventions. The slaughter of animal mandates a process of "stunning" before slaughter. Which means, to cause minimal suffering to the animal it has to be chopped at spine instantaneously."
The controversy began when some right-wing groups gave a call to boycott 'Halal' meat, with the Hindu Janajagrithi Samithi, a pro-hindutva organisation in Karnataka, starting a campaign against the purchase of Halal meat.
The BJP's National General Secretary C T Ravi added fuel to this, comparing Halal meat to ‘economic jihad’, saying that ‘halal’ is used like a jihad so that Muslims should not do business with others. This came amid a flurry of messages on social media, appealing to Hindus to shun Halal meat, especially after the festival of Ugadi, which is being celebrated on April 2, Saturday this year.
In reference to the controversy, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that the state government will look into the halal meat issue as "serious objections" have been raised about it, a day after which, some Bajrang Dal activists allegedly attacked a Muslim vendor in Bhadravathi for selling halal meat.