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Lack of facilities allows animal slaughter in unchecked private spaces

ST 1

Srinagar, Mar 09: Scores of unauthorised slaughter houses are currently operating across the Valley without any check from the authorities.
In Kashmir, where majority of the population is non-vegetarian, there are a total of 10 slaughter houses against Hindu-dominated Jammu’s 13.
In the Valley, Srinagar, Bandipora, Kulgam, Budgam, Chrar-i-Sharief, Sopore, Handwara, Pahalgam and Anantnag has one slaughter house each.
According to the official figures, in an average around 1500 goats and sheep are slaughtered in Srinagar city daily.
Due to unavailability of modern slaughter houses, butchers across the city slaughter their animals at their private facilities at which the authorities don’t seem to be keeping an eye on.
“Nobody knows whether a butcher slaughters the healthy sheep or a half-dead one. We don’t think Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) visits every slaughter house to check the hygiene of the animal,” a source said.
In Kashmir, 75% of sheep for local consumption are imported from the neighbouring state of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Gujarat.
The remaining 25% are produced locally, reared at far-off places like Poonch, Rajouri, Kangan, and Gurez.
Dr Javaid Ahmad Rather, Veterinary Officer in the SMC, accepted that many unauthorised slaughter house were operating in the city.
“There are many in the Valley, because butchers are slaughtering sheep and goats in the small spaces inside their houses. But we cannot close them all at a time, because that will create a crisis or a state-wide agitation,” he said.
He said the corporation allows them to slaughter animals at their homes due to lack of options.
Rather said the animals imported from outside were examined inspected at different livestock check-posts including at Qazigund-Zig, run by State Animal Husbandry Department, and Athwajan, run by the SMC.
“Livestock is being first checked properly and then allowed to enter into the city,” he said.
“To ensure proper hygienic and drainage protocols, periodical inspection of these private slaughtering places is being conducted and, in addition, health status of animals being slaughtered at these places is strictly checked.”
To ensure availability of quality mutton, the SMC, with the assistance of Ministry of Food Processing Industries, GoI, is establishing a modern abattoir at Allochi Bagh, Srinagar, which shall cater to the demands of entire city with a capacity to slaughter about 5,000 small animals daily at a project cost of Rs 24.52 crore.
Rather said that the Central government has sanctioned Rs 15 crore for the abattoir.
“Around 75 per cent of the funds will be sanctioned by the central government and the remaining 25 per cent will be sanctioned by the state government.”
He said the tendering process for the modern abattoir was going on. “Modern Abattoir will take nine months to get complete and it will cater the demands of entire city,” Rather said.