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Gujarat government suspends export of livestock from Tuna port

The Livestock Exporters Association moved the Gujarat High Court, challenging the Kutch DM’s order. The High Court stayed the order on September 18 and the first batch of 3,500 live goats and sheep departed for Dubai and Sharjah from Tuna port on December 4.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
Updated: December 15, 2018 10:20:29 am
Tuna port, export of livestock from tuna port, kandla port trust, Middle-East countries, Indian Express      Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani in Gandhinagar. (PTI Photo)

Suspending the export of livestock from Tuna port in Gujarat on Friday, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani wrote a letter to Union Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu, requesting the central authorities to “not issue any permit for the export of live animals from Tuna port in larger public interest and welfare of animals”.

Tuna is a satellite port operated by Deendayal Port Trust, formerly known as Kandla Port Trust or KPT. The port has been exporting livestock to the Middle-East countries for the last four decades.

The trade came down to half after the district magistrate of Kutch ordered suspension of movement of livestock on August 6 on the ground that provisions of “Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960” were being violated.

The Livestock Exporters Association moved the Gujarat High Court, challenging the Kutch DM’s order. The High Court stayed the order on September 18 and the first batch of 3,500 live goats and sheep departed for Dubai and Sharjah from Tuna port on December 4.

The CM wrote a similar letter to the Commissioner of Customs at Kandla.

Rupani has even instructed the Gujarat Police to set up a check post at Tuna to keep round-the-clock vigil on any “illegal” export of livestock. He also asked the home department to strictly implement the provisions of Transport of Animal Rules 1978 and The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960. The state government has requested the Customs Superintendent at Tuna to not allow export of animals till they receive directions from the Government of India, stated an official release.

The state government also issued a notification citing various sections of Gujarat Essential Commodities and Cattle (Control) Act, 2005, and passed an order “prohibiting movement of any cattle into any drought-affected area from outside.”

In the letter written to the Union Minister, the CM has cited the absence of animal quarantine station in Gujarat which would quarantine live buffaloes, sheep and goats (adult) for exports. Stating that the Government of India has established six animal quarantine stations in New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru, Rupani in the letter pointed out that despite several written requests from Director of Animal Husbandry, Gujarat, for establishment of a new quarantine station, “no response has been received from the Government of India (GOI) till date.”

“It is pertinent that at present there is no specified and required facility for Animal Quarantine and Certification Services at Tuna, Kandla port or anywhere in Gujarat. The certification services were rendered by local government veterinary officer only for the health point of view which is not sufficient as per the Government of India rules and regulations in this regard,” the letter stated, adding that permits to export live animals should not be issued “until specified facility for Animal Quarantine and Certification is established by Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Government of India.”

He also said that the Gujarat government is withdrawing the service provided for health check-up of live animals at Tuna with immediate effect.

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