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Kerala Animals and Birds Sacrifices Prohibition Act

Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Kerala Animals and Birds Sacrifices Prohibition Act

Context:

The Supreme Court has agreed to examine the constitutional validity of the Kerala Animals and Bird Sacrifices Prohibition Act of 1968.

What’s the issue?

An appeal is filed in the Supreme Court by people who are Shakthi worshippers, and for whom, animal sacrifice is an integral part of the worship.

In their appeal, they said animal sacrifice was an “essential religious practice”.

But, the 1968 State law bans killing of animals and birds for religious sacrifices. However, the act does not ban killing for personal consumption.

  • This amounted to arbitrary classification and is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.
  • It also violates the right to practice religion and manage religious affairs under articles 25 and 26 of the Constitution.
  • The appellants said if killing of animals and birds was to be prohibited, let it be so for all purposes – religious or otherwise.

Besides, Section 28 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 1960 does not make killing of animals for religious purposes an offence.

What had the High Court said?

Recently, the Kerala High Court had dismissed the PIL on the ground that no material was brought on record to establish that the practice was essential to the religion.

  • The High Court had observed that the Prevention of Cruelty Act does not have the word “sacrifice” for the purpose of religion.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who and where can a PIL be filed?
  2. What is a writ and writ petition?
  3. Section 28 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 1960.
  4. Articles- 14, 25 and 26 of the constitution.
  5. Recent issues with the Kerala Animals and Bird Sacrifices Prohibition Act of 1968.

Mains Link:

Comment on the “dichotomy” in animal protection law that allows killing of animals for food but does not permit “killing of animals for offer to a deity and then consumption”.

Sources: the Hindu.