Bhubaneswar: The Orissa High Court recently directed the State Government and police to take strong measures to curb illegal transportation of cattle from different districts to outside states like West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. The Court also directed the government to ensure strict implementation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the anti-Slaughter Act.
The direction came in the wake of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by general secretary of Cuttack-based Legal Support and Social Action (LESSA), Shri Gadadhar Sahoo and Biswa Go Surakhya Bahini president Shri Suresh Kumar Panda.
Disposing the PIL, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Shri V Gopalagowda and Justice Shri SK Mishra directed the police to intensify crackdown on the menace and ensure strict implementation of the existing Acts. The High Court also directed the Intelligence Department to provide inputs on regular basis in this matter.
The petitioners alleged that rampant illegal transportation of cattle is taking place and lakhs of cows and their progenies are being transported for slaughter from Odisha to West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.
“There is alarming increase in illegal cattle transportation to outside State for purpose of slaughter in the recent years. Despite the Animal Welfare Board taking up the matter with the State Government no action was taken,” alleged the petitioners.
The Bench also directed the police to take action on the letter of Animal Welfare Board of India to State Chief Secretary and DGP on September 7, last year, raising the issue of rampant illegal transportation of cattle.
The petitioners had submitted that lakhs of cows are illegally transported every year from areas like Begunia, Sakhigopal, Baliapada, Ichchapur, Tangi, Jagatsinghpur, Charampa, Golbazaar, Sambalpur, Soro, Gopinathpur and Athgarh, etc. to West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.
They also alleged that the cows were subjected to extreme cruelty during transportation. They are crammed into trucks with their feet tied and even their tongues gored to keep them of from making noise on the way. As a result, many cows die due to asphyxiation, fatigue and stress. The cattle-borne vehicles were moving freely on the Highways as the police turned a blind eye to the illegal activities, the petitioners alleged. High Court also directed the state government and police to deploy more police force to check the illegal cattle transportation, if needed.