THE CRACKDOWN on slaughterhouses in Uttar Pradesh (UP) has had an unexpected fallout 200 km away, in the Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park here, better known as Chhatbir Zoo. The zoo gets the meat supply for its carnivores from a slaughterhouse in Saharanpur in UP and there is an apprehension that the UP government may not renew the owner’s licence.
The zoo, which needs a daily supply of 200 kg buffalo meat for its tigers, lions, leopards and other carnivores, has allotted the tender for the 2017-18 to Akeel Rehman in Saharanpur, who has been supplying to the zoo for years.
When Chandigarh Newsline contacted Akeel over the phone, he said, “My licence [for the slaughterhouse] expires on March 31 and there is uncertainty over its renewal. The clampdown has resulted in fear.”
Meat from Saharanpur is the preferred choice of Chhatbir Zoo: Saharanpur is the nearest place from where fresh buffalo meat can be sourced on a daily basis as slaughtering bovines is banned in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
Akeel Rehman’s meat-laden vehicle makes the trip daily, starting from Saharanpur at 9 am and reaching Chhatbir at 1.30 pm, ahead of the animals’ feeding time at 4 pm.
Zoo officials maintain that till March 31, there are no worries. “In the past, if there was a problem getting meat from Saharanpur, we get our supply from Delhi slaughterhouses with the help of Delhi zoo authorities,” said Manish Kumar, field director, Chhatbir Zoo. But sources said this arrangement was not a long-term solution.
But Kumar was confident. “Our supply will not be hit,” he said, adding that if Rehman was unable to give the required documentation, the zoo would follow the “legal process and will call for tenders again.”