HC disapproves of process adopted by authorities for disposal of cattle carcasses

The Delhi High Court Wednesday expressed displeasure over civic authorities cutting the carcasses of cattle into pieces before disposing them of, and demanded that it be told how the process could be called scientific.

“I am unable to digest this. You cannot cut them into pieces. Show me where it says that this is the scientific process to be followed,” a division bench headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma said.

The counsel for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) submitted the civic body adopted the “scientific” disposal process for large animals, including cows and buffaloes, as it was not possible to bury the whole carcasses due to limited space.

“You mean first you will compress them and then dispose of. That can’t be done. You file a better status report and explain the scientific data behind it,” the bench, also comprising Justice Subramonium Prasad, said.

The high court issued notice to MCD, the Delhi government and the Centre on an application by petitioner Ajay Gautam seeking dignified burial of cows and listed the matter for further hearing on August 21.

The application was filed in a pending petition seeking direction to the authorities to make available an antidote to lumpy skin disease among cows. The petitioner, Gautam, sought stray cattle to be vaccinated on priority.

In a status report, filed through MCD standing counsel Ajay Digpaul, the civic body said in 2009 it established a rendering plant in the municipal slaughter house complex located at Ghazipur. The plant has the capacity for scientific disposal of 20 tonnes per day and carcasses of large animals like cows and buffaloes in Delhi are being disposed of scientifically at this rendering plant.

“The rendering plant in municipal slaughter house complex has been leased out to a private agency. The lessee of Ghazipur slaughter house has engaged the dead animal contractors to remove dead animals from entire Delhi who, after removal of dead animals, transport them to rendering plant for their scientific disposal,” it said, adding no burial of dead cows is done by the MCD.

The bench asked the MCD to explain with documents as to who has devised the procedure of cutting animals into pieces for their disposal.

“Tomorrow, it may be done with human beings also. From where does this procedure come? How you can do it? Explain. There should some scientific data behind it. Just because you thought of disposing dead animals like this so you are doing it. No documents have been placed to support it,” the bench said.

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The petitioner said this is akin to showing disrespect to dead cows. Cruelty to animals is not limited to living animals but also extends to those dead, he said.

The high court also issued notice to the Centre, Delhi government and the Delhi Police on another application by the same petitioner who alleged that before Bakra Eid incidents of cow smuggling and slaughtering increase sharply.

He demanded that the authorities be directed to ensure cows are not sacrificed.

The application was filed in a pending petition seeking direction to authorities to take steps to stop cow slaughter in the national capital.

The petition also sought a court direction to authorities for a separate cow protection cell in every district of Delhi.

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