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Do you want a country of vegetarians, asks Supreme Court Bench

Supreme Court. File photo.

Supreme Court. File photo.   | Photo Credit: Shanker Chakravarty

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Bench comprising Justice Lokur confronts petitioner seeking ban on meat trade

Hearing a petition for a ban on the “barbaric” meat trade and leather industry, Supreme Court Justice Madan B. Lokur on Friday asked whether the objective of the plea is to have a “country full of vegetarians.”

A Bench of Justices Lokur and Deepak Gupta was hearing a PIL filed by ‘Healthy Wealthy Ethical World Guide India Trust’ for a “complete ban on on the export of all types of meat (including beef, fish, pork, poultry) and all related products, whether by the government or by private parties”.

“Meat exports and ancillary leather trade is anti-social, barbaric and the much talked of foreign exchange comes with a huge price at the cost of the nation,” the petitioner contended.

“World over ‘slaughterhouse’ and ‘tannery’ are indicted as unsocial, obnoxious and hazardous… meat exporters do not talk about rampant pollution that emanates from this obnoxious industry,” the petitioner said.

“So you want the entire country to be full of vegetarians?” Justice Lokur asked, appearing to be on the verge of dismissing the petition. However, acceding to the petitioner’s lawyer’s request that the court give him an opportunity to present the arguments in detail, the Bench agreed to hear the matter after the Puja holidays.

‘Antibiotic misuse’

Ceontending that the Trust was not opposed to private domestic meat production, the petitioner chose to highlight the “rampant misuse of antibiotics in intensive animal agriculture and the spread of zoonotic diseases.”

Meat trade and tanneries seriously affect public health, cause “reduction of our cattle wealth, contamination of the vital public resource of water and unbridled degradation of the environment,” the petitioner said in the plea.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 11:13:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/do-you-want-a-country-of-vegetarians/article25209633.ece

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