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PFA Kasauli writes to Shimla Superintendent of Police against animal sacrifice during three-day ritual in Himachal Pradesh

05:36 PM May 23, 2023 IST | India Legal
pfa kasauli writes to shimla superintendent of police against animal sacrifice during three day ritual in himachal pradesh

Animal welfare organisation People For Animals (PFA) has written to Sanjeev Kumar Gandhi, Superintendent of Police (SP), Shimla, asking him to prevent the sacrifice of some 70 animals during a three-day ritual in Himachal Pradesh in view of the continuing ban on animal sacrifice.

On April 10, 2017, the Supreme Court Bench of Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice L. Nageswara Rao had ruled that animals could be killed only in an area set up in accordance with the law and that the municipal authority would be required to ensure compliance. It further ruled that the Animal Welfare Board of India and Gauri Maulekhi (PFA Trustee) should be heard on the setting up of such an area.

On February 17, 2017, the Apex Court passed another order, directing that killing animals without following the Government of India’s compendium of acts and rules on animal transport and slaughter was a punishable offence.


PFA member Sonali Purewal’s letter asking the SP to stop the sacrifice is given below:

Dear Mr Gandhi,


It has come to my notice via a reliable informant that there is a three-day religious ritual organised at Gathan village in Tehsil Theog in your jurisdiction. Copy of the invitation is attached below. In this, they are preparing to sacrifice around 60-70 animals, which have been brought here for the purpose.


I request you to send a team to the spot and confiscate the animals. We will take the animals to our shelter in Kasauli and house them there. Sir, this is crucial that this is done with care, as most of the villagers tend to hide the animals when the police is present. 


Sir, my letter today is in continuation to my letters sent to your department over the many years since the 2014 ban on animal sacrifice in Himachal Pradesh. 

We hope that your department along with the police department will uphold the law. Any indication of this not being followed will be reported by our volunteers situated in Shimla district during this time.


A copy of my e-mail is on record for the Supreme Court for ongoing procedures. A reply from you affirming co-operation will be appreciated.

We continue to request your office to ensure that the Supreme Court interim order is upheld in your district in which it is clearly stated that animal sacrifice, if it were to occur, will be done so in compliance with the law, and following slaughter house rules.

The ban in Himachal Pradesh for animal sacrifice has not been lifted.  

A compendium of Indian acts and rules on transport and slaughter of animals was prepared by the government of India as per the direction of the Supreme Court. Through the February 17, 2017 order (enclosed), the Supreme Court stated that this compendium must be complied with by state governments and Union Territories.

The compendium include the following provisions of animal protection laws relevant to slaughter to be implemented:

1.    Section 11(3)(e) of the PCA Act states that, “commission or omission of any act in the course of destruction or preparation for destruction of any animal as food for mankind unless such destruction or preparation was accompanied by the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering.”

2.    Stunning (rendering animals unconscious before slitting their throat and bleeding them to death) is an important procedure to prevent “unnecessary suffering” when the animals are killed for meat.

Rule 6 (4) 4 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughter House) Rules, 2001 states that “Every slaughter house as soon as possible shall provide a separate space for stunning of animals prior to slaughter, bleeding and dressing of the carcasses, making stunning mandatory during slaughter of animals.”

The Food Safety and Regulations Standards (Licensing & Registration of Food Businesses), 2011, Section 4, Part IV, Schedule 4 explains various stunning procedures to be adopted, with recommendation for different species. .

3.    Registration/ licensing of slaughterhouses:

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 under Rule 3 (1), require recognition or licensing of a slaughterhouse.

4.    Food Safety and Regulations Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011, Regulation 2.5. 1 specifies species of animals who can be killed for meat. Under this Regulation, ‘animal’ means an animal belonging to Ovines, Caprines, Suillines, Bovines and includes poultry and fish. No other animals, including camels and rabbits can be slaughtered under this provision of the law. 

5.    The declarations and directions of the Supreme Court in the matter of Animal Welfare Board of India vs A. Nagaraja & Ors, (Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.11686 of 2007), under para 77(4) mandates that, “AWBI and Governments are directed to take steps to prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on the animals, since their rights have been statutorily protected under Sections 3 and 11 of PCA Act.”

6.    The declarations and directions of the Supreme Court in the matter of Animal Welfare Board of India vs A. Nagaraja & Ors, under para 77(9) mandates that, “AWBI and the Governments would also see that even in cases where Section 11(3) is involved, the animals be not put to unnecessary pain and suffering and adequate and scientific methods be adopted to achieve the same.”

7.    Section 28 of the PCA Act states that “Saving as respects manner of killing prescribed by religion : Nothing contained in this Act shall render it an offence to kill any animal in a manner required by the religion of any community.” 

Since Muslim law mandates that stunning used should be reversible and should not kill or cause permanent physical injury to the animal, they may use non-penetrating captive bolt pistol for stunning or the electric stunning method. Similarly for Hindu religion, electric stunning is suitable. In either case, stunning does not violate the provisions of Section 28 in relation to the manner in which they need to be killed as prescribed by religion. 

In case your department is planning to let the villagers go ahead with sacrifices and granting any such permission with this inclination, it is my duty to remind you that you will be against the order of the Supreme Court unless the following information is provided with accurate and verified documentation. 

This is a gravely wrong tradition which exists based on superstition and needs to be corrected by someone in your position in order to move towards a more progressive rather than a regressive Himachal Pradesh. 

We would further appreciate if proper signage is placed all over your district informing the janta on the ban on animal sacrifice. We have informants that will be posting us with information in case your department is found not co-operating with the Court Order.

I must bring to your attention that in absence or lack in any of the above and following the Court order “in accordance with law” we will hold your office in contempt of the Supreme Court.

A copy of this letter is being sent to the DC Shimla, Municipal Commissioner Shimla, Gauri Maulekhi, her legal counsel, the AWBI, SPCA Shimla and Maneka Gandhi.


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