[NB: Watch the picture gallery and the video insert at the bottom of this report] Gauri Maulekhi is Member Secretary, People for Animals (PFA) Uttarakhand & Co-opted Member, Animal Welfare Board of India. People for Animals (PFA), headed by Smt Maneka Gandhi, is India’s largest animal welfare organization with a nationwide network of 26 hospitals & 165 units. PFA works to rescue and rehabilitate sick and needy animals & campaigns against cruelty towards animals and educate the masses to increase awareness about animal rights.
The population of Dehradun must know where their ‘food’ is coming from. As this investigation shows Dehradun’s mouth watering mutton korma is a deadly contaminated piece of the carcass of a poorly butchered animal. Slaughter House Rules 2001 framed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act lay down how a slaughter house has to be built and operated. The Bhandari Bagh Slaughter House run by Nagar Nigam Dehradun is violating these rules on every single count. Every section of the Slaughter House Rules 2001 is violated in this facility.
On a surprise visit to the shelter on 14 December 2011 Gauri/ PFA found shocking conditions at the slaughter house:
- As per law a vet can perform mandatory health check up of animals not more than 12 animals in an hour i.e not more than 96 animals in an 8 hr work schedule. At the slaughter house, though Dr Mrigesh Chaudhary performs health check up of more than 250 animals in one single hour or even less time.
- The fitness form prescribed by the Government of India has not been filled for a single animal at the slaughter house, ever.
- The animals were being slaughtered by unlicensed individuals whose age and health records were not kept by the Nagar Nigam. Some of these individuals appeared to be minors and two of them appeared to suffer from breathing problems.
- The instruments that were being used to butcher the animals were unsterilized and were found lying amid pools of blood, viscera and gastric content.
- There was no arrangement of hot water or even clean water for washing purposes. A dirty, smelly, brown, liquid filled in a cement tank was being used to clean the meat, thereby contaminating it further.
- Stunning of animals before slaughter has never been practiced at this slaughter house and even the equipment to perform this mandatory procedure has not been procured by the Nagar Nigam.
- The animals were being slaughtered in plain view of each other, even 30 to 35 at a time in each room.
- Blood, parts of the viscera, gastric content and other refused parts had chocked the drains thereby forming pools of muck in each room and was splashing onto other animals.
- The meat was spread out on the floor for dressing with complete disregard for cleanliness.
- It was found that many diseased looking animals had been slaughtered in the absence of a veterinary checkup. Alarmingly, fetuses of unborn lambs were found among refused parts indicating conclusively that pregnant animals were being slaughtered too.
- No post mortem examination of the viscera was being done at all. The vet was found to be absent from duty when the animals were being cut open. Thus allowing the possibility of the meat of diseased animals to be taken for sale unchecked.
- No cap has been set by the Nagar Nigam, on the number of animals that can be slaughtered at the slaughter house in a day.
- No lairages or isolation pens for sick animals were found. Animals were being slaughtered immediately after arrival.
- The hides of the animals were found to be spread out in front of the slaughter house possibly for drying and some were being taken away on bicycles in an open, exposed manner in plain view.
- The slaughter house does not have a boundary wall, so the dogs and other animals in search of food move freely about, even in the rooms while slaughter is in process.
- The building was found to be made of material that was difficult to clean, the walls were splattered with blood and muck and were not made of washable material, the doors were rusted and there was no tiling or proper slope to allow cleaning.
This is the gut wrenching video of Gauri’s visit
Considering that the produce of this slaughter house is being consumed by the population of Dehradun, it is crucial that the hygiene, sanitation and health aspects are kept under a strict vigilance of able officers. It is only a matter of estimate that how many people in the city must have fallen ill or died due to consumption of contaminated meat and the matter could not be traced back to the correct root of the tragedy till now.