Meghalaya HC directs state govt to ban display of animal carcasses in meat shops

The Meghalaya High Court has directed the state government to prohibit the display of animal carcasses in meat shops.

The HC passed the order while delivering a judgement on a PIL on Friday.

“The State would do well to set an example and completely prohibit the display of animal carcasses in meat shops, though they may be stored in refrigerators or containers or even in showcases within the premises and not open to public view from outside,” the division bench headed by Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee said in a judgment.

“Otherwise, the State should ensure ethical treatment of animals across the board, even those which are culled for human consumption and those which are used as farm animals, including the mode and manner of transportation thereof,” it added.

The state said that detailed measures have been taken in such regard in June, 2022 and repeated instructions have followed.

The PIL was filed by Gau Gyan Foundation, non – profitable organization which works to save, protect and preserve cows. The matter concerns the treatment of animals that are culled for human consumption and the transportation of animals across the state.

The bench said that despite there being central enactments and local regulations, the petitioner had demonstrated that most of the guidelines and norms were not being followed and local level committees were not functional.

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“Hopefully, such lapses have been taken care of and the state will ensure a more ethical treatment of animals even if they are culled for human consumption,” it said.

One aspect that remains is how animal carcasses are brazenly displayed in street side shops, sometimes with beheaded heads of pigs in open view, the bench said

Despite measures taken by the state after being repeatedly advised to ensure that such displays are restrained and altogether prohibited street side shops continue with it. Apart from the “hideous” sight, there is also an element of hygiene since the meat displayed is likely to collect grime and dust from the street and may turn toxic even before it is sold, the bench added.

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