Group Recommends Removal of Section 28 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, Allowing Animal Sacrifice
Ahead of Eid al-Adha (20 and 21 July) – during which thousands of goats, sheep, and other animals are sacrificed in the country – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting that Section 28 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, which allows any animal to be killed in any manner for religion, be deleted.
The central government is currently in the process of amending the Act, and in April, PETA India had submitted its recommendations to the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), which included recommending a ban on animal sacrifice. PETA India’s letter to Modi is available upon request.
PETA India says the exemption given for animal sacrifice goes against the very purpose of the PCA Act, as it causes unnecessary pain and suffering to animals and is now outdated in modern society. The group further points out that states which have already banned animal sacrifice demonstrate that progressive steps are needed towards implementing a similar prohibition throughout India.
“Just as human sacrifice is now treated as murder, at a time when India is embarking on space missions, the archaic practise of animal sacrifice should be treated as punishable cruelty. We beseech Hon’ble Modi Ji to end animal sacrifice in the country,” says PETA India Chief Executive Officer Dr Manilal Valliyate. He adds, “Many people engage in sacrifice by distributing wealth, clothing, or fruits, without harming animals.”
PETA India has also sent out another round of letters to the director-general of police of all state governments and union territories 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 horrifying practices include beheading, twisting animals’ necks, attacking them with sharp instruments, crushing or even biting them to death, and slitting their throats while they’re fully conscious. 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.
Gujarat, Kerala, Puducherry, and Rajasthan already have laws in place prohibiting the religious sacrifice of any animal in any temple or its precinct. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana prohibit it in any place of public religious worship or adoration or its precinct or in any congregation or procession connected with religious worship on a public street.
PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.
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