OBSERVING THAT public health and safety are at stake, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday said the state government must ensure that provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the Food Safety and Standards Act are not breached or violated. The court was hearing a bunch of petitions raising concerns over illegal abattoirs operating across the city and on animal slaughter being conducted in a painful manner.
A division bench of Justice S C Dharmadhikari and Justice B P Colabawalla said the issue concerns public health. “It is for the state government to ensure that provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the Food Safety and Standards Act are not breached or violated,” it added.
Justice Dharmadhikari said that sometimes fishermen do not sell fresh fish and there should be a surprise check conducted by officials. “Fish, meat and everything… the officers should carry out checks time to time.”
Counsel for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Anil Sakhare, told the court that civic officials conduct periodic checks on all shops. He added that in three years, around 700 FIRs have been lodged against shops carrying out slaughter without required permissions.
Justice Dharmadhikari further said that there are several places in the city where slaughter shops throw the carcasses and garbage on the roads. The BMC should make sure that they are disposed of properly, he added.
The bench has directed the BMC to file an affidavit and also asked the government to take up the issue with every municipal corporation and district council. The court will hear the matter again on November 2.