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In Telangana over 2500 cattle rescued from smuggling & illegal slaughter in 3 months

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Hyderabad: Over 2500 cattle were rescued from smuggling and illegal slaughter in the last three months by the state of Telangana, disclosed Gau Gyan Foundation in a press note issued in Hyderabad on Sunday.

In a recent rescue sent to Dhyan Foundation gaushala from Yacharam PS on 6th June 2024, pregnant cows, and calves as young as 1-2 months, were mercilessly stuffed into a small vehicle, and a calf suffocated to death inside it.

There needs to be strict vigilance and enforcement of the law on these mafia elements to put an end to the trafficking says Harish, a volunteer with Gau Gyan Foundation in the press note.

The modern city of Hyderabad is full of painful sights of mute animals stuffed like potato sacks in trucks, hundreds of eyes stare out of these trucks when they are seized by police officers who either act of their own accord or on information by vigilant animal welfare volunteers.

Every year lakhs of cattle are brought into the state of Telangana, and into its capital city, Hyderabad – and most are slaughtered openly on roads mercilessly, but more importantly, illegally, in the name of festivals.

It is estimated that nearly thousands of cattle are slaughtered in Hyderabad every year during the festive season, but for a city which has only 4 legal slaughterhouses with limited legal capacity, and comprehensive laws in the form of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughterhouse) Rules, 2002 which govern ‘how’ legal slaughtering can happen, it is a ‘daylight mystery’ how these slaughters take place.

As soon as the FIR is registered, property involved in the crime, such as vehicles, and animals are legally seized by the police after a seizure report.

Upon this, the offending vehicle and the victim animals become ‘case property’ – only to be disposed of as per orders of the learned Magistrate upon application of their judicial mind.

However, in Telangana, this process is bypassed by sending the animals to a temporary/unregistered cattle pound, wherein designated ‘government veterinary officers’ issue ‘Fit for Slaughter’ certificates for the animals.

Therefore, the legal provision meant to ensure the health, safety, and economic use of an animal before slaughtering it, is conveniently twisted to be used as a tool to bypass central laws (Care and Maintenance of Case Property Animals Rules, 2017) specifically lay down how ‘case property’ animals in cruelty cases are to rehabilitated and dealt with.

Once these certificates are issued, the helpless animals who were already victims of smuggling, and unimaginable cruelty during the illegal transportation, are then released to the very persons accused of committing cruelty to them.

The resultant absurdity is that even though a criminal case is ongoing against the accused, for animal cruelty and smuggling, to be decided by the Court, the concerned animals have already been handed back to the accused persons who have not even been adjudged as ‘not guilty’!

The resultant illegality is that powers are arbitrarily being exercised by ‘Veterinary Officers’ to dispose of ‘case property animals’ without the notice of the Court, even as Courts spend their countless precious hours (years) deciding the original criminal case… not knowing that the animals (the original victims) are long gone!

The Police in Hyderabad try to break this vicious cycle by rescuing the animals and sending them to registered shelters, such as Dhyan Foundation’s dedicated shelters, but with their hands tied are only able to get so far.

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