In a historic decision, the Himachal Pradesh High Court has imposed a complete ban on cow slaughtering and selling beef or beef products in any form in the state.

A Division Bench of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Sureshwar Thakur, passing order on the PIL of Bhartiya Govansh Rakshan Samvardhan Parishad Himachal Pradesh, pronounced that there is complete prohibition of cow slaughter as per Section 3 of the Himachal Pradesh Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Act, 1979.

The court ordered that no person would slaughter any cow/calf and export cow for the purpose of slaughter either directly or through his agent or servant.

The Court further ruled that according to section 6 of the Himachal Pradesh Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Act, 1979, it is the duty cast upon the Government or local Authority to establish institutions for the reception, maintenance and care of uneconomic cows.

The court also taken strong note on stray cattle and directed the authorities to make entire roads free of stray cattle by December 31, 2014. The Court has directed the superintending Engineers of all National highway in the state and State highway to ensure that no stray cattle, including cows and bulls come to the road. The court also directed all local bodies, including the MC, Shimla, to construct goshalas/gosadans or shelters for housing cows and stray cattle within six months.

The Court ruled that the abandoning of cattle would also be amount to cruelty and also directed to tag the cattle with number indicative of the owner. To avoid injuries to the animals, while transporting, the Court ruled for the provision for construction of ramps and also restrict vehicle speed limit within 10-15 kms/hour.

Court also directed government veterinary officers/doctors to treat all stray cattle. Court ordered that no veterinary officer/doctor can refused to treat stray cattle brought before them and necessary register to this effect shall also be maintained by the.

To eradicate the menace of stray cattle, the Court has directed to constitute a co-ordination committee in each district, comprising Deputy Commissioner, SP and Govt Veterinary officers/Doctors.

The state government is also directed to issue public notices to aware the citizen about the animal rights and their welfare.

The Court has directed Principal Secretary, HP Government to issue necessary instruction to implement the order.

Legal Point

HP high Court