The Animal Welfare Board has written to the Motor Vehicle Department asking for strict enforcement of rules in the transportation of cattle to slaughterhouses.
In the letter addressed to the Transport Commissioner Rishi Raj Singh, Gauri Maulekhi, co-opted member of the Animal Welfare Board of India, pointed out the flagrant defiance of The Transport of Animals Rules, 1978, framed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
Ms. Maulekhi referred to the blatant disregard for legal provisions that had come to the notice during a recent inspection conducted by the Slaughterhouse Monitoring Committee at the directions of the Chief Minister.
The letter enlists ten commonly observed violations in the transportation of animals in the State: severe overcrowding in vehicles; transportation of animals with their bodies forced into unnatural positions and their heads tied in a way causing pain and even strangulation; extreme long journey by road without rest, food, and water; transportation in vehicles not specifically designed for the purpose; transportation of unfit animals; physical abuse, including caning, during transportation; goats are dragged, pulled, and painfully mishandled by their ears and often thrown and beaten; goats are often stacked one over the other in vehicles without any ramp; animals of varied sizes, age and health transported together; and absence of any efficient system to deal with injured animals during the course of the journey.
Ms. Maulekhi said the law that animals should be transported in vehicles specifically designed for the purpose was often flouted. The letter calls for action against the guilty invoking the provisions of multiple laws.
While issuing registration under Carriage by Road Act, 2007, the State Transport Authority or the Regional Transport Authority must take an undertaking that the common carrier shall not transport any animals. On non-compliance the registration must be suspended or cancelled under Section 5 of the Carriage by Road Act, 2007.
Registering authority, when registering a transport vehicle, shall take an undertaking that no animal shall be transported in the vehicle and also enter in the record of registration and in the certificate of registration of the vehicle that animals are prohibited from being transported in the vehicle.
“If any registering authority or other prescribed authority finds a transport vehicle transporting animals in contravention of the record of registration, then such registration should be suspended or cancelled as per Sections 53 and 54 of the Motor Vehicles Act. 1988.”
The letter said the Regional Transport Authority shall not grant goods carriage permit for transportation of animals under Section 66 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
The letter ends with a proposal to organise a two-day sensitisation workshop for Regional and Sub Regional Transport Officers by qualified resource persons suggested by the Animal Welfare Board of India.