Plea in SC challenges circular on meat consumption during COVID-19

A religion-based organisation has moved the Supreme Court seeking a stay on a circular by the Centre, declaring consumption of non-vegetarian food amid the COVID-19 pandemic as safe.

The petition filed by Vishwa Jain Sangathan sought a stay of the March 30 circular, issued by the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, contending that the ministry lacks expertise to judge the issue.

“In the midst of this disastrous epidemic when Chinese government has completely sealed Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan where the mat sellers were the first victim of this deadly virus, the Union ministry has issued such an advisory, the petition said.

This ministry has no jurisdiction and expertise to issue such an advisory without waiting for the final conclusive result of research, being made present by biologists all over the world and trying to find out the ultimate carrier of this virus,” the petition said.

The petition contended that consumption of meat during the ongoing pandemic despite the availability of agriculture-based food is jeopardising the existence of the entire human race.

Allaying fears that the corona virus can be transmitted from animals to humans or vice versa, the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying had earlier sent advisories to all states and Union territories that consuming eggs, chicken, meat and fish is completely safe.

“The impugned circular, without any basis, succumbed to the pressure of meat traders’ lobby and without any necessity or jurisdiction called upon the people to eat more and more meat,” the petition said.

It also stated that the petitioner also submitted that vegetarians are suffering due to the “violent barbaric eating habits of some people consuming both domestic and wild animals for mere hang of taste’.”

The plea also sought that killing of all animals and birds including the slaughter of animals through ‘halal’ should be completely stopped.

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