Meat shop owners have demanded licences for them to run their shops in the city. More than 60 traders turned up the Vellore Corporation office on Wednesday and submitted a petition to Mayor P Karthiyayini in this connection.
The Corporation had intensified its drive against illegal slaughtering of cattle and had issued notices to 30 meat shop owners. The Corporation’s initiative had come two weeks after 10 cows including calves were rescued from an illegal slaughtering unit at the Palar riverbed, near Vellore New Bus Stand in Katpadi. The local body has also planned to allot slaughtering houses for cows, if there was a demand for the same.
The illegal slaughtering at the Palar riverbed was brought to light by Sunitha Christie, Virudhunagar district president of People for Animals, an animal welfare organisation. The rescued cows were taken to Sri Jain Goshala located behind Vellore Fort.
Following this and as per the order of the district administration, the officials of the Corporation conducted surprise checks at meat shops in the city and issued notices to close down the shops and stop the slaughtering of cows.
The notice levied four complaints on the traders involved in slaughtering, including running of slaughtering house without obtaining permission, slaughtering of cows without permission, slaughtering of cows for food without obtaining permission and selling of meat without permission. The notice also read that the traders slaughter cows in public places, creating a nuisance to the public and affecting the environment.
Maattu Iraichi Viyabarigal Nala Sangam president, V S Babu said,“As many as 81shops were involved in slaughter and meat sale in the city. After the notice from the local body was received a week ago, the shop owners stopped slaughtering cows and began to purchase meat from other parts of the districts like Melvisharam, Ambur and Gudiyatham for sale.” He said the meat was purchased at Rs 90 per kg and sold at Rs 100 or Rs 110. This is not affordable and business gets affected, he noted.
Arjunan, treasurer of the Sangam said, 17 years ago, the then Vellore Municipality had designated a place for slaughtering cows near the slaughter house for goats in Makhan Junction, and the members payed taxes. He also said the Municipality had then constructed a veterinary hospital in the spot, but they were still paying tax. Responding to this, Mayor Karthiyayini said she would intimate the issue to the Collector P Sankar and appropriate action would be taken after consulting him. She also said one of the two slaughter houses, for which construction orders had been given, could be allocated for cow slaughter, if there was a demand for the same.
Commissioner P Janaki Raveendran said a slaughter house for goats was already being used near Makhan Junction and the local body has given the work orders to construct two more slaughter houses, each at a cost of Rs 50 lakh, at Sadhupperi Road and Kangeyanallur.