Camel Sacrifice is banned in India

COIMBATORE: TNN | Oct 4, 2014 - City Muslims are in for some disappointment as authorities may not permit the slaughter of camels on the holy occasion of Bakrid.

The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) wrote to all state governments on Thursday, informing them that a recent notification issued by the food safety and standards authority does not allow slaughter of camels, for any purpose. They have asked the governments to ensure that camels are not slaughtered on the night before the holy day.

For the past seven to eight years at least seven to eight camels have been brought into the city from Rajasthan and slaughtered on the occasion of Bakrid. "They are usually brought in from Kankrauli, Udaipur or Raj Nagar districts in Rajasthan," said environmentalist N I Jalaluddin, who heads the nature conservation society. "Their kurbaan, or sacrifice, is done along with other cows at a wedding hall or ground specifically rented for this purpose. It happens in Kottaimedu, Karumbukadai and Podanur," he added. Sources say that since prayers have to be offered, animals are not taken to the slaughter houses on this day.

The letter states that "camels cannot be slaughtered 'for food based on the directions issued by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare'. A notification issued by the FSSAI to all food safety commissioners states "under regulation 2.5 definitions of animals, carcass and meat are given. Under sub regulation 2.5 an animal means ovines (sheep), bovines (ox and cow), caprines (goats or goat-antelopes) and suillines besides poultry and fish".

AWBI has also asked the governments to ensure that animals are slaughtered only in slaughter houses and that the transport of animals act is not violated at any point of time. The Tamil Nadu DGP, K Ramanujam, said that he had not received the letter yet. "It might have gone to the commissioner instead, but we have not received any such communication from them so far," he added.

While authorities are expected to hesitate to follow the directive since it may hurt religious sentiments, a few religious heads in the city said there are simpler ways out. "Islam does not prescribe the slaughter of camels specifically. You can slaughter goats or cows instead," said the Imam of the Al Ameen Colony mosque, Abu Bakr.

"If they slaughter camels in Saudi Arabia it is because the animal is freely available there," he added.

"People here do it just to make a spectacle of the event and the festival," he said.

Buying a camel costs upto Rs 1,50,000.

The Global Campaign to Stop Animal Sacrifice