The nuns of an orphanage look for babies in the cradles outside their gates. We look in the gutter outside my shelter every day to find a cowering little dog. Labradors, Alsatians and Pomeranians dominate the throwaway list. I am sure that, if pedigreed, their owners must have tried to sell or give them away before they came at night and threw them into the gutter. But if they are Indian dogs, they are thrown away as garbage.

These Indian dogs whom you regard as junglies were once kept by the royal families and Mughals who ruled this country. When the British came, they trashed many of our customs and royalty. They made us feel that nothing Indian was good, it had to be foreign to be of any value. So Indian cow breeds disappeared , Indian cheetahs were shot to extinction, Indian parakeets gave way to foreign parrots and the Indian dog was thrown out into the road, to be beaten , starved, abused and killed while smugglers brought in poodles, mastiffs and cocker spaniels to become status symbols. The great granddaughter of the last Mughal king lives in the waiting room of a railway station. The same thing has happened to our dogs.  

You see them everyday. Let me tell you how to identify some:

The Caravan Hound: These came with the invaders from Asia with their caravans and are found in the Deccan Plateau. The head is long and narrow and broad between the ears with a tapering muzzle with long, powerful jaws. The nose is large and black. The ears are long and hang close to the skull. The eyes are dark hazel and large. The neck is long and muscular. The dogs are 68-72 cms in height and the females are 64-68 cms tall. The back is long, broad and well-muscled. The chest is strong and deep. The abdomen is tucked in. The tail is set low and carried in a natural curve, not over the back. The coat is fine and they are normally, fawn, red, cream, black, with white.  

Caravan Hound, Rajapalayam : Looks like a miniature Great Dane, with its muscular, and heavy build. It is usually white with pink skin. It has a deep chest. The hair is soft on the head but coarse on the body. It is about 65cms. tall and 25 kgs in weight. The females are smaller. It’s domed head is carried high. There may be a little wrinkling on the skin of the head and throat. The skin is loose all over the body and the eyes are usually deep brown. The ears hang and feel like soft leather. The jaws are long, fine and powerful. The tail is whip-like with a noticeable thinning after 1/3 its length. The straight legs are long 
Rajapalayam, Combai: The royal hound of the Marawa kings , it is slightly shorter than the Rajapalayam and heavier built. The dog is usually red or brown with a black mask with a dark line along the back. 
Combai, Chippiparai: has a compact streamlined body. The dog is about 50 cms tall and weigh 15-20 kgs. The head is domed, fine and long. The ears are small and may be semi-erect or rose shaped. The eyes are dark, the tail is bony. The chest is deep with a slightly curved back and a tucked-up belly. Usually white/fawn 

Chippiparai, Rampur Hound: was created by the Nawab of Rampur. This hound is powerfully built with strong jaws. The skull is broad. Males measure 60-75 cms in height and weigh about 27-30 kgs. Black, grey, brindle, fawn or white. The chest is deep in front but not very wide with well sprung ribs. The tail is long and tapering slightly curving upwards and carried low, The neck is long arched and broad where it joins the body. 
Rampur Hound, Kanni: is from Tamilnadu. It was so prized that it was given as part of a girl’s dowry.They are usually brown, cream, black & tan and brindle. 
Kanni, Mudhol Hound: comes from the royal state of Mudhol in Karnataka/ Maharashtra. Shivaji's beloved dogs were Mudhols. It is a hardy, keen sight hound. The head is small in proportion to the body. The skull is long, narrow flat and moderately wide between the ears. The muzzle is long and tapering.The eyes are dark brown or hazel . The ears are thin, triangular and set fairly high. They are carried flat and close to the head. The neck is long , supple and well muscled. The body is muscular with a well tucked in abdomen. The back is fairly broad.The tail is long and set on line with the body. The coat is smooth.It may be any colour.
Mudhol Hounds, Alangu: This is a tall breed with a short coat, red, fawn and black with white markings on their chest. The muzzle is black. The back is long with the tail tapering to a fine point. The ears are set high on the skull and pricked.  

Alangu Mastiff, Kaikadi : is white, tan, and black. The dog is small (about 40 cms or less) with thin long legs, but powerful thighs. The tail is long and tapering. The head is long and thin with prominent eyes and long ears that stand erect when alert. 
Kaikadi, Bakharwal: a black and tan large solidly built shepherd dog with heavy bones, pendant ears, a short, well-muscled neck, and a short muzzle. 
Bakharwal, Banjara Hound: indigenous to the North India, developed by the Banjara tribes. It has the speed of a greyhound . The coat is very thick and dense, soft to the touch, but not silky.

Bisben: One of the key features of the Bisben dog is that the length of the muzzle is equal to that of the skull. Its Tibetan Mastiff -like , lean, muscular body is covered with a thick, harsh medium-length coat. Normally black with large white markings on the feet and chest, but wolf-grey and tricolour dogs also exist. Average height is 45 cm.  

Bhutia Sheepdog : a Himalayan breed, similar to the Himalayan Sheep dog but larger in size and with a tightly curled tail. Either small (8-10 inches) with longhair or tall (32-14 inches)with shorthair. Generally black or redbrown, with patches of white on the ears, legs and body. Has a thick, coarse overcoat in black or tan and a thick, smooth undercoat. Luminous, dark rimmed eyes. Medium black ears and a pointed muzzle. Compact and muscular without being stodgy. Short legs, and a long back. Tail is plumed and up turned. 
Indian Spitz : was one of the most popular dogs in India in the 1980s when India's import rules said no to import . It is often called Pomeranian though the two breeds are different. Is usually white in color, but also come in brown and black.

Jonangi: is found along the east coast of India, from Bengal to Kanyakumari. It does not usually bark but makes a yodelling sound. The coat is extremely short and fine, in solid colours of fawn, biscuit, chocolate, black or white. 14-16 inches, it has a wrinkled forehead, thin curled tail, and tulip ears.  

India has 36 breeds. Go outside and pick up a perfect Indian pedigree. He waits for you, homeless, abused but still conscious of his royal lineage. That is why Indian dogs are so much more civilized and intelligent. 

Maneka Gandhi

To join the animal welfare movement contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Now that Dusshera and Bakr Id have taken the lives of millions of animals, let us look at the word animal sacrifice so that we understand what we are doing. After all the same animals are killed for food every day – in one year , the human race kills 56 billion animals – so why are we objecting to them being killed for religious practices ? 

Let me give you my Hindu argument first: I have a son whom I love dearly. One day, hypothetically, he comes to me and says “Ma, thank you for loving me and taking care of my needs for thirty years and being there when I needed you. I believe I should do something for you as well. So here is my thank you: I have brought you the severed head of your favourite dog and I have covered your house with blood, urine and feces so that it stinks. And once you have cleaned up the house, I promise you I will filthify it again at regular intervals. And every time there is a festival which the rest of the world is celebrating with sweets and loving family get together, I will come to you and kill some more of the animals that you love and throw the blood on your new clothes. And if society and the police tell me this is wrong and you look horrified and angry at my gifts of love, don’t worry, Ma. I will break every rule, get my friends to riot on the roads, defy all the authorities who want to stop me and become such a violent nuisance that everyone backs off and lets me kill. And Ma, don’t worry about the cost. I will take the money that you have gifted me or I will mortgage my land and borrow it from the local moneylender and, as a token of my love, since I know you love animals, I will have as many as I can killed.”

What would I say to such a son? I would tie him down and get a psychiatrist to examine him for mental disorder. 

Why do we pray to the Gods? Because they are our elders, parents, teachers, beloveds. They take care of us, they bring order to our universe, they give us hope that if life is not great this time, perhaps next time, if we are good and please them, we will get a better deal. And what do they ask from us in return ? Love and an adherence to their values of compassion, honesty and bravery. Every holy book says that when you want them to notice you , serenade them with prayers, flowers, dhoop batti and a token offering of sweets. As you would a mother/father. Be clean, frugal and respectful. Not maniacally cover yourself with blood and grin from ear to ear as you wield some hideous weapon and chop down meek defenceless animals who have already been beaten and starved so that are paralysed with fear as if you were some great warrior. And the next day go back to your normal work and cower before some office superior or village patwari / inspector who abuses you.

And , if you are Muslim , you do the same to your Prophet who was one of the greatest animal lovers that the world has known. You misinterpret the simple story that he told you about a holy man who was asked by Allah to love him above all else and to prove it by sacrificing his own son. And when he trusted Allah enough to obey him, the sacrifice was stopped. What a simple, beautiful story illustrating to all faiths that trust is the key to happiness and the ultimate test of love.

Instead you have turned it into a ritual where you go to a bazaar and buy goats, camels, cows, buffaloes and kill them. And if one of the animal has a holy sign on it , you bid lakhs of rupees for the thrill of killing an animal so dear to God that he has put his sign on it and sent it out into the world ? How weird is that ? Should your mothers tie you down and ring up the local lunatic asylum ?

Here is a piece written by Syed Rizvi who is a well known Pakistani physicist and the head of a group of scientists and engineers. 

“Once again, Muslims around the world have “sacrificed” millions of animals in a three day period during the month of Eid-ul-Adha to please God.

Sacrifice inherently means that you part with something that is very close to your heart and experience pain and a sense of loss during the process.

Abraham was asked to kill his beloved son. This act of Abraham can be seen as a spirit of true sacrifice.

Today, if I say that I sacrificed an old sofa, I will be laughed at, since the sofa doesn’t mean anything to me. However, this hypothetical act of mine is not much different from someone slitting the throat of a goat to please God and call it a sacrifice, since the person has had no attachment to the goat except a few bucks that he would soon forget.

I am just wondering if that is what God had in his mind when he asked us to follow a path in remembrance of Abraham’s devotion to God. Today what we do on the streets of Karachi during the Eid-ul Adha is a mockery of Abraham's devotion to God.

It is beyond my comprehension that our God, whom we regard as compassionate and merciful finds pleasure watching a helpless camel with one of his front legs tied off the ground and two of his hind legs so closely tied together that he becomes incapable of using those legs independently. And apart from that, his jaws are tied with a rope that he cannot even cry out. And then, a pious looking person sticks a knife into the camel's throat. The camel bleeds for hours and suffers excruciating pain until he dies.

I read somewhere that the Prophet stated “La taqtolu bil-la iza’a” if you must kill, kill without torture. I don’t see any concerns among Muslims honoring Prophet’s words. We Muslims are very good in cherry picking things; we choose what suits us and disregard those that hinder our ways of doing things.

I often wonder what if God had asked us to sacrifice our children to make him happy. I doubt any commandment like that would have seen the light of the day.  

Read the following verse. 

“It is not their flesh, nor their blood, that reaches Allah; nor yet their blood, but your devotion will reach him (Quran 2:196; 2:28. 35-37)

What happens on the streets of Karachi during these three days of the festival it does not take much to notice that the so called Qurbani has transformed into a blood orgy defied by all standards of human decency.”
Maneka Gandhi

I have 22 dogs in my house, all of whom have been rescued. But deep down inside, I am really a cat person. I would be happy if I could keep 22 or more cats as well. In the movie Pretty Woman, the last lines stick in my mind. Richard Gere says to Julia Roberts “What happens after the knight rescues the lady?” and she answers, “She rescues him right back.’ Cats are like that. They refuse to be passively thankful. They spend their time being independent with so much attitude that you have no idea who “owns” whom!

I have just finished reading Richard Webster’s “Is your Pet Psychic?” a collection of anecdotes. The chapter on cats describes their senses and agility. Did you know that the field of vision of each eye slightly overlaps the other, like binoculars, allowing them to hone in with incredible accuracy on their prey. That their hair also acts as a sensory organ, that their ears can move 180degrees to focus on the direction of the sound without turning their heads and they contain semicircular canals that provide them with an unerring sense of balance.

But the book is not about physical attributes but about the sixth sense of animals. The Egyptians who revered the cat called it Mau. This is not based on Meow but means “seer”- one with the ability to see what we cannot , including the future. There are hundreds of recorded instances where cats have raced out of houses frantically, hours, even days, before an earthquake . One second World War incident related by the Vicar of St Augustine’s Church in London is about his cat Faith and her kitten. They disappeared and was found in a small niche, three floors below ground level. Four times the Vicar carried them back to his room. They went back. Three days later, the place was bombed and burned to the ground. The cat and her kitten kept mewing till they were found safely tucked into the niche.Every family from that time has a story about cats who ran to bomb shelters long before the planes arrived. Hundreds of people who simply followed them were saved. 

The author has his own story: every year their parents rented a vacation home from a woman who would leave her cat with them for three weeks. Every year the cat disappeared as soon as the owner left and did not reappear till one hour before the woman was to return !In another instance, their cat Ting who had never been interested in the phone until the author’s sister, her carer, went to hospital. Whenever she would call from the hospital, the family knew it was her because , even before the phone rang , Ting had already reached the instrument. Leading in the research into the unexplained powers of animals including cats is the scientist Dr Rupert Sheldrake. One special power is their ability to know when their owners are calling on the phone before anyone has picked it up. "We found several times where cats anticipate telephone calls from their owners. They get excited if the phone rings and their owner is on the phone, but they ignore phone calls from anyone else, and this happens when their owners call from a great distance or at unpredictable times."  

Like dogs cats miraculously appear at the gate or doorstep the moment you arrive home from work, no matter what time it is and which car you arrive in. 

Repeated experiments were tried with a cat whose favourite food was cheese and who knew if cheese was in the fridge even if many other strong smelling food were put there. Her owner only need to think about cheese and he would jump up onto her lap. Instead of calling him she just thought about a great big piece of cheese and the cat would arrive.

Dr. Sheldrake's theory on how animals have these powers is Morphic Fields. "Morphic fields are involved in self-organizing systems which include cells, animals, and groups of organisms. When the owner and the pet form a bond there is a field that connects them," said Dr. Sheldrake. He says the fact that we see schools of fish or flocks of birds turning in the same direction simultaneously is evidence of these morphic fields. Dr. Sheldrake believes these fields connect living things, whether of the same species or different species, which have close connections to one another across distances, whether large or small. 

Jim Berkland is a geologist who has been working for the last 30 years in California predicting earthquakes. His work is chronicled in the book, The Man Who Predicts Earthquakes, by Cal Orey. One method he uses is observing the behavior of cats and dogs. Specifically, the number of lost cats listed in local newspapers. For thousands of years, people in China had been successfully predicting earthquakes based on the behavior of animals before quakes. Jim's first prediction involving cats occurred in 1980. "On Nov 7th in 1980 there were 14 missing cat ads, the most of the whole year. There are usually 3 or 4 missing cat ads". Based on that and other factors, Jim predicted a 7.4 earthquake in the next few days. Within days there was a 7.4 Earthquake in Eureka , California . Since then Berkland has successfully predicted over 25 earthquakes based on missing cat and dog ads. His most famous prediction came in 1989 when he predicted the famous "World Series" earthquake in San Francisco . Missing cat ads were a record 27. On October 17th, four days after he called the papers with his prediction, the most deadly earthquake since 1906 hit the San Francisco area. How are cats able to detect these earthquakes? Animals can detect the change in the earth's magnetic field. When they sense this and realize something will happen many cats and dogs flee. 

 Jeane Dixon, America’s most famous astrologer wrote a book called Do Cats have ESP , in 1998. She has described the findings of scientists at the parapsychology laboratory in Duke University which have repeatedly confirmed that cats have psychic abilities.

In the Middle Ages, the prescience of the cat was so widely recognised that people began to believe that they were witches. In 1484 Pope Innocent VII ordered millions of cats to be tortured and killed. On the other side of the world, Chinese Emperor Khai –hwang ordered anyone involved with cats to be banished to the ends of his empire. The leftovers of that is that superstition of black cats crossing your path – we still believe that the black cat knows what is going to befall you that day and is warning you !

What has saved cats has been their mortal enemies, rats. As the rats spread, cats and their practical witchcraft was needed again and they were brought back into society as working animals and from there they magicked their way back into people’s hearts and laps!

Maneka Gandhi

To join the animal welfare movement contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

As soon as autumn comes in the west and the leaves start falling, humans start preparing for winter. What do other animals, such as birds, insects and fish, do to prepare for the cold?  

The great migrations start. Thousands and thousands of creatures go to the places where their ancestors have always gone to sit out the winter and come back in warmer weather. But how do they know where to go? Migratory birds use a combination of methods to navigate like landmarks and seeing the position and light of the sun and stars. Now there is evidence that magnetic fields play an important role in navigation. 

Our senses: sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch, are meant to help us deal with the environment, keep us out of danger and find food and shelter. Other animals need different information about the world to survive. So they have our senses and more: echolocation, infrared vision, magnetic sense. Radar, compasses, and infrared detectors are all man-made contraptions that enable humans to stretch beyond our natural senses. Other animals have these inbuilt in their bodies. 

The flow of molten material in the earth's core and the flow of ions in the atmosphere generate a magnetic field that surrounds the earth. Amazingly, animals can sense this magnetic field. We need compasses to help us navigate by detecting the magnetic north. Chitons, honey bees, sharks, sea turtles, rays, homing pigeons, bats, dolphins, migratory birds, whales, bass, tuna, mosquitoes, butterflies, mollusks, trout, salmon, frogs, salamanders, termites, lobsters, mole rats, even some bacteria have an inbuilt magnetic sense that enables them to go long distances in the correct direction.  

Researchers have found that all these animals have deposits of magnetite in their nervous systems. Magnetite is a type of iron oxide with natural magnetic properties. In fact, it is the most magnetic naturally occurring mineral on Earth and was once used in compasses, under the name lodestone, by mariners from the twelfth century. Magnetite crystals, align themselves with magnetic fields and act like microscopic compass needles. What is magnetic information and how do animals use it to navigate? The liquid core of the Earth gives off a magnetic field. Energy goes from the Earth’s South Pole and reenters the Earth at the North Pole . Evidence suggests that animals can navigate by detecting the strength of the magnetic field and the angle at which the field meets the earth which is distinct for each spot on the globe. Scientists have suggested that as we have specialized cells to see and smell, animals have specialized nerve cells called “magnetoreceptors” , an internal compass that is hooked up to the body such that the “needle” of the compass moves with the changing magnetic field and triggers other cells that help the animal sense where to direct its movements. Studies from rainbow trout showed that brain areas that are sensitive to the magnetic field have nerve cells that contain magnetite. 

True navigation is when an animal returns to a place without using landmarks from the destination and the journey. Normal navigation for the human means relying on visual landmarks. If you’ve traveled the route many times, you may even be able to do it blindfolded by using non-visual landmarks, such as smell, sound, remembering distances and knowing when to turn. Studies have shown that in addition to using those types of landmarks, some animals use the earth’s magnetic field to navigate with an internal compass that enables them to sense direction. 

Migratory birds use magnetic clues to find their way south in fall and north in spring. This was demonstrated in 1966 by Wolfgang Wiltschko of the University of Frankfurt, Germany for the first time. He showed that even when migratory birds are caged, when the time comes for migration they faced the direction they want to migrate to, e.g., south in autumn. If the magnetic field is changed, so that magnetic south appeared in a different direction, birds assembled in this new direction. 

 At the age of 6 weeks, pigeons who have a lot of magnetite in their beaks adopt a home loft that remains permanent throughout their lives. Pigeons use different landmarks to return to the home loft, including sight and smell. But magnetic information seems to be the strongest guide. When scientists disrupted the magnetic field by glueing magnets to the back of their necks, pigeons could not find their way back to their lofts.  

Loggerhead sea turtles are born on the Florida beaches. After the turtles hatch, they crawl across the beach out into the ocean. Hatchlings swim along the east coast of the United States and then swim northeast with the Gulf Stream. They complete the circle within the Atlantic Ocean, and then they return to the same beach to nest. The return trip takes them across thousands of miles in the open ocean. Olive Ridley turtles are born on the coast of Orissa and Andhra and do the same in the Indian /Pacific oceans, coming back to the exactly the same place 30 years later to lay their eggs. Magnetic information becomes important once they are in the open sea. This has been studied in the laboratory by observing the swim direction of hatchlings in a small pool. When the magnetic field surrounding the swimming hatchlings is reversed, the hatchlings change their swim direction

Spiny lobsters live in caves, come out to forage for food and then return to the same cave. They also have an annual migration. Even when they have been placed miles away in a new place by experimenters, they have been found to return to their cave.

Certain types of bacteria have bodies of magnetite. There is no sensible reason unless the magnetic properties of this element were useful in some way. Biologists think that bacteria(e.g., Magnetospirillum magnetotacticum) may use these internal compasses to sense where 'down' is so that they can find food. 

 The bobolink has the longest migratory path, more than 7000 miles, of any songbird in the West. A study, conducted by Robert Beason of SUNY- Geneseo, validates that magnetite in the bird’s brain functions as part of the bird's compass. Beason took migrating bobolinks and treated them with a strong magnetic pulse which reversed the polarity of the magnetite in their bodies. Before the magnetic pulse, the birds hopped toward the southeast, which is their normal migratory direction in the fall. After the treatment, the birds changed direction and hopped northward. This is what would be expected if the compass sense relied on magnetite. 

In 1983, Baker, Mather and Kennaugh of the University of Manchester discovered "magnetic bones in human sinuses". A tiny, shiny crystal of magnetite in the ethmoid bone located between the eyes, just behind the nose. But studies show that humans have no capacity for direction finding by magneto-reception. However since magnetite absorbs microwave radiation and reacts to static and low-frequency fields , this means that fields from power lines, cellular telephones, computers and monitors could be affecting us right now. And the people who say that migratory birds are dying off because of the cell phone towers may well be right. 

Maneka Gandhi

I cannot tell you how anguished I am by Diwali. It has been decades since it was a festival of diyas, rangolis, puja and good food. Now it is a festival of vulgar crystal gifts, noisy and polluting firecrackers, expensive alcohol based card parties and dying animals.
More than 40 animals came in last night to the shelter. All of them had been hit by firecrackers, some accidentally but most deliberately. One puppy had its mouth torn open by a rocket, several had been set on fire by phuljhadis. These are just the ones we got, think of the thousands that are still on the street dying in slow degrees. The big animals like cows die from burns. Smaller ones like dogs and cats die from hunger as they cower in sewers waiting for the bombs to stop.
But even Diwali seems wonderful compared to Bakr Id which is next week. Already the markets are crammed with goats , frisky proud skipping creatures, now totally dazed by being crammed into trucks and brought hundreds of miles into crowded bazaars. They will be dragged with jute ropes round their necks to various places, mostly illegal courtyards behind houses and there they will die. The young kids, barely a year old , who have been brought up by families and respond to names like Munni and Guddu will have their throats slit in front of the children of the house that they have played with. They will die of broken hearts long before the blood from their slit throats drips outs.
Even worse than all this are the long lines of camels that are pouring into the cities. From all over India , specially West Bengal , Karnataka ,Kerala and Andhra Pradesh , there are reports coming in of hundreds of camels that have come in and are standing bound together. Many people including me have repeatedly talked to the senior police officers in Kolkata – it has had no effect. The 150 camels standing near the Howrah station will be killed in Kolkata.
Killing camels is illegal. It is a fad that was started about seven years ago by the rich Muslims of Hyderabad. They have taken advantage of the fact that they control the politics of that city to break every animal law in India. The same problem exists in West Bengal where the politicians are so busy wooing minorities, that they ignore all the criminal activities that are turning India upside down.
Let me explain to you why killing camels is illegal in Bakr Id
a.It is called Bakr Id and not Unth – Id. This killing has official sanction in a way that Hindu sacrifices do not. But it is limited to goats and they can only be killed in designated places. You cannot kill any other animal. This is a Supreme court ruling when West Bengal’s people had started killing cows in large quantities on Bakr Id. Now , since cows have been forbidden , they have turned their attention to camels. Tomorrow , it may be bears and tigers. The point is that you cannot kill any animal you want for Bakr Id.
b. There are less than 4 lakh camels left in India. They are very slow to breed. According to official estimates they are reducing at the rate of 10 % per year – which means no camels in 10 years. The reason given is the killing at Bakr Id.
c. The camel sustains the economic health of Rajasthan and Gujarat. It is a draught animal and its absence will impede all rural movement. Roads cannot be built in many places in the desert. Its milk sustains rural desert communities which will be deprived of protein. Its dung is important for the spread of many desert species of trees.
d. It has been made illegal by the High Court of Kerala by the Honourable Justice K Balakrishna Nair. The case is an interesting one. Two camels were brought to Ernakulam in 2005 by a beef shop owner and his assistant, to kill and sell on Bakr Id. I was there at the time and the district administrator was an excellent one, a devout Muslim called Haneesh. The Tehsildar of Kayannur Taluka who also exercises the power of the Executive Magistrate prohibited the slaughter. The two butchers went to court saying that their right to livelihood had been affected and that killing camels was not banned by law. The administration filed a counteraffidavit saying that all animals that were to be sold for meat had to get a permit and that the butcher only had a permit for beef (cow’s meat) and not camel’s meat. The camels were not subjected to medical examination so the administration did not know whether their meat was fit for human consumption. The administration further argued that “Trade of occupation or keeping of goods which are injurious to the health of and comfort of the community can be prohibited and regulated by the competent authority and in exercise of that power and in good faith”. The Health Officer of the Local Health Authority of Cochin also submitted that there was no facility to kill camels in any slaughterhouse. And, as per the provisions of the Municipality Act and the Panchayat Act only the slaughtering of cattle, sheep, goat ad pig is allowed and that too with a valid licence only and in a licenced slaughterhouse. Therefore no licence could be given for slaughtering camels. Also, the meat of an animal had to be inspected after it was killed but no vet was competent to check it and nor were the slaughterhouses as the camel is not a notified animal. The Municipal act provides that the Secretary may grant special permission for slaughtering animals on the occasion of festivals but the camel is not on the list. 
The judge took all the arguments into consideration and issued a 13 page order saying that the licence to sell beef could not extend to the sale of camel’s meat. Therefore the butchers were ordered to surrender their camels and they were disallowed from slaughtering them. 
I want you to take this article and show it to the police and the courts if necessary as quickly as possible. None of them understand the harm that the killing of camels is doing to the economics of rural India and to the law and order situation.
The religion of the criminal does not matter: it is when his crime is ignored or condoned that all of society suffers. In Delhi, it is illegal to burst crackers after 10 O’clock but the bombs and crackers went on the whole night. The result has been that all of Delhi is polluted for the next six months and many people will die of respiratory diseases exacerbated by the law breakers of Diwali.
Please save the camels, wherever you are. 
Maneka Gandhi
To join the animal welfare movement contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.