The Orissa High Court on Wednesday directed the State Government and police to take strong measures to curb the illegal transportation of cattle from different districts to outside the State.
Disposing of the PIL filed by general secretary of citybased Legal Support and Social Action (LESSA) organisation, Gadadhar Sahoo and Biswa Go Surakhya Bahini president Suresh Kumar Panda, the division bench of Chief Justice V Gopalagowda and Justice SK Mishra directed the police to intensify crackdown on the menace and ensure strict implementation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the Slaughter Act.
The bench also directed police to take action on the letter of Animal Welfare Board of India to State Chief Secretary and DGP on September 7, last year, raising the issue of rampant illegal transportation of cattle to West Bengal. The petitioners had alleged alarming increase in illicit cattle transportation to outside the State for purpose of slaughter in the recent years. Despite the Animal Welfare Board taking up the matter with the State Government no action was taken. They had submitted that lakhs of cows were illegally transported every year from areas like Begunia, Sakhigopal, Baliapada, Ichchapur, Tangi, Jagatsinghpur, Charampa, Golbazaar, Sambalpur, Soro, Gopinathpur and Athgarh, etc. to West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.
The cows were subjected to extreme cruelty during transportation. They were crammed into trucks with their feet tied and even their tongues gored to keep them from making noise on the way. As a result, many cows died due to asphyxiation, fatigue and stress. The cattle-borne vehicles were moving freely on the Highways as the police turned a blind eye to the illicit activities, the petitioners had alleged.
Sahoo had also recently filed an affidavit citing death of around 16 cows in transit and the animals allegedly being thrown on the roadside near Balasore by transporters. The HC had directed the Balasore SP to submit his response on the matter.
The SP filed his affidavit on Wednesday and refuted allegations that they died on the way. Investigations have revealed that they were victims of a road accident, he submitted.