Between Andhra Pradesh and Kerala through Tamil Nadu

The Madras High Court Bench here on Wednesday directed the State Government to keep a watch over alleged illegal transportation of cattle in trucks between Andhra Pradesh and Kerala through Tamil Nadu and prosecute the perpetrators.

A Division Bench of Justice Chitra Venkataraman and Justice S. Vimala passed the order while disposing of a public interest litigation petition filed by Chennai based animal rights activist S. Radha Rajan who claimed that the animals were treated cruelly during transportation.

However, responding to her allegations, Animal Husbandry Secretary Gagandeep Singh Bedi said that she had made only general allegations without mentioning specific instances of violation of the Transport of Animals Rules 1978 framed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960.

He said that as per amendments made to the rules in 2009, every cattle should be provided with one to two square meters of space, depending on their weight varying between 200 kg and 400 kg, in railway wagons and other vehicles, such as trucks, during transit.

In 2011, the State police had booked 10 cases (Tiruppur district-3, Coimbatore-4, Coimbatore city- 2, Thanjavur-1) on charges of violation of the rules. The number increased to 29 in 2012 (Tiruppur-13, Coimbatore-9, Coimbatore city-2, Krishnagiri-2, Tirunelveli- 2 and Tuticorin-1).

The Secretary also said that he had written to all Collectors and the Director General of Police on January 11 requesting them to ensure that violation of the rules were dealt with severely and appropriate action was initiated against the violators.

Further listing out instances of police action against the violators of the rules, Mr. Bedi said that Maraimalai Nagar police in Kancheepuram district had registered a criminal case recently against two people who hurt a few buffaloes with knives after being enraged on seeing the animals graze in their fields.

“In such circumstances… this writ (PIL) petition does not have any significance since government is already taking necessary action. The relevant rules for prosecuting the violators are in force and in practice,” the Secretary asserted in his counter affidavit.

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