The Uttarakhand high court on Monday said it would act as the legal guardian of cows in the state, and issued 31 directions to the state government, including setting up a cow shelter for every cluster of 25 villages and registering cases against those who abandon their cattle.
“No person or any on his behalf shall export cow, bull, bullock, heifer or calf for the purpose of slaughter,” said a division bench of acting Chief Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Manoj Tiwari. They further directed the government to make gaushalas’ or shelter home for cattle within a year.
For smooth traffic flow, the chief engineers of national highways and state highways, the village panchayats, and the municipal bodies have been directed to ensure that “no stray cattle come onto the roads”. To ensure the safety of stray cattle while being removed from the roads, the court order directed that “utmost compassion” must be shown by state functionaries towards cattle and “no unnecessary pain and suffering is inflicted” on them.
The slaughter of cows, bulls, and calves is already banned in the state under the Uttarakhand Protection of Cow Progeny Act, which provides a jail term of up to 10 years or Rs 10,000 fine, or both.