No order yet to stun animals before slaughter: BBMP amid halal row

A senior BBMP official from the animal husbandry department told TNM that they have not received an order to ensure stunning before slaughter.
Bowls containing meat dishes with a halal certificate
Bowls containing meat dishes with a halal certificate

Days after the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Department in Karnataka wrote to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to ensure that animals are mandatorily stunned before they are slaughtered, a BBMP official told TNM that they have not received such an order yet, so there is no question of implementing it. Stunning is a process where an animal is rendered unconscious while being slaughtered, either by hitting on the head or by gas or electric shock, and the government order had created controversy amid the calls to boycott halal meat.

A senior official from the BBMP’s animal husbandry division told TNM that they have not received any communication pertaining to the slaughter of animals. The official also added that they have not received any complaints from the public over the method of slaughtering animals. Another official said that based on the statement of Karnataka Animal Husbandry Minister Prabhu Bamala Chavan, they will not be going ahead with the April 1 order. The official added that the BBMP is also not going to act on anything, unless there is a specific government order issued.

The Times of India had reported that the Karnataka Animal Husbandry Minister had issued an oral direction to officials to keep the order in abeyance. In the letter dated April 1, the Deputy Director of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services in Bengaluru Urban district had cited the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughter House) Rules, 2001, and asked the Bengaluru civic body to ensure the stunning of animals before they are slaughtered for meat.

The order had triggered a row as it came amidst the controversy around right-wing groups seeking a boycott of halal meat during Ugadi festivities. Halal meat refers to a method of slaughter under Islam, where an animal's throat is slit, and the meat is used only after the blood has drained out of the body. The traditional Hindu way of preparing meat is the jhatka cut, where the animal is killed instantaneously by a single strike of a sword or sickle, or the animal is stunned and killed and then the meat is prepared.

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