New Delhi, Jul 1 (PTI) Ahead of the Eid al-Adha festival, during which animals such as goats and sheeps are sacrificed, PETA India has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to scrap a section of a law which allows killing of an animal as a religious ritual.
Section 28 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA), 1960, should be done away with as it says that “nothing contained in this Act shall render it an offence to kill any animal in a manner required by the religion of any community”, the animal rights body said.
“I'm writing to you from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India on behalf of our more than two million members and supporters to request that you delete Section 28 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, which allows any animal to be killed in any manner for religion,' PETA India chief executive officer Manilal Valliyate said in a letter to the prime minister “We hope you will agree that Section 28 is an aberration in the land of 'ahimsa', 'karuna', and, increasingly, modern technology and where Article 51A(g) of the Constitution of India requires compassion for all living creatures,' Valliyate said.
It has been held by the Supreme Court that this Article reflects the rich cultural heritage of the nation, the PETA official said.
The letter said that this provision (section 28) goes against the very purpose of the PCA Act, as it causes “unnecessary pain and suffering to animals and is now, in a modern society, outdated”.
Just as human sacrifice is treated as murder, similarly, the archaic practice of animal sacrifice, like wringing their neck, beheading them, biting them to death, or slitting their throats while they are fully aware of what is happening to them, should be treated as punishable cruelty, it said.
PETA India said that in April it had submitted its recommendations to the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), which included recommending a ban on animal sacrifice.
In its letter, the animal rights body pointed out that many states and Union Territories, including Gujarat, Kerala, Puducherry, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana, have prohibited animal sacrifice in any place of public religious worship or its precincts.
This demonstrates that progressive steps are needed towards implementing a similar prohibition throughout India, which could easily be achieved by deleting Section 28 from the PCA Act of 1960, it said.
“Compassion and love are universal messages at the core of all religions, and no religion teaches or encourages cruelty to animals or requires meat eating. In order to give animal welfare the scope it deserves and to ensure that our animal protection laws reflect modern society, we beseech your good office to remove the outdated exemption for animal sacrifice under Section 28,” PETA said.
It said it has also sent letters director generals of police as well as the AWBI, urging them to take precautionary measures to stop illegal practices in the transport and killing of animals in the lead-up to Eid al-Adha.
'Animal sacrifice in the country involves a huge variety of species, including sheep, goats, buffalos, chickens, pigs, deer, foxes, owls, and others,' the body said.
Even though the PCA Act gives an exemption for animal sacrifice, such practices often stand in contradiction to the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, which protects indigenous wild species from hunting and capture. PTI AG ANB ANB