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Lumpy skin disease: Delhi HC expresses anguish over MCD's cattle burial procedure

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to file a document in regard to the scientific process of disposal and burial of cows.
The court expressed its anguish over cutting the carcasses of cattle into pieces by MCD. The court noted that earlier the respondents gave an assurance that cows succumbing to lumpy skin disease will be provided with a dignified burial.
Appearing for MCD, counsel submitted that the civic body adopted the "scientific" disposal process for large animals, including cows and buffaloes, as it was not possible to bury the whole carcasses due to limited space.
The bench of Justices Satish Chander Sharma and Subramonium Prasad while showing displeasure to MCD over the burial procedure said, "You mean first you will compress them and then dispose of them. That can not be done. You file a better status report and explain the scientific data behind it."
"Tomorrow, it may be done with human beings also. From where does this procedure come? How you can do it?" the court asked.
Meanwhile, the court also issued notice to the Delhi government, Centre, and Delhi police in an interim application seeking cow protection during Eid-al-Adha and listed the matter for further hearing on August 21.
The application was filed in a pending petition seeking direction to the authorities to make available an antidote to lumpy skin disease among cows. The petitioner, Gautam, sought stray cattle to be vaccinated on priority.
In a status report filed by MCD, it stated that in 2009, the MCD established a Rendering Plant in Municipal Slaughter House Complex located at Ghazipur having 20 Tons capacity for scientific disposal of large dead animals including Cows/Buffaloes.
Since 2009, the large dead animals of Delhi are being disposed of scientifically in this Rendering Plant at Ghazipur Slaughter House Complex.
The Rendering Plant in Municipal Slaughter House Complex at Ghazipur has been leased out to a private agency (leasee). The leasee of Ghazipur Slaughter House has engaged the dead animal contractors to remove dead animals from the entire Delhi, who after removal of the dead animals, transported them to the Rendering Plant at Ghazipur Slaughter House Complex for their scientific disposal. In view of the above, it is humbly submitted that the MCD does not burial of the dead cows.
The court was hearing a PIL submitted that Lumpy Skin Disease is a contagious viral disease that spreads among cattle, Bovine ( Cow family) through mosquitoes, flies, lice, and wasps by direct contact, and also through contaminated food and water. The disease causes fever and nodules on the skin, and it can be fatal.
Petitioner Ajay Gautam stated that this disease can turn into an epidemic. Therefore immediate action is needed for stopping the spread of this disease among our Holy cows.
According to the petitioner, every day Cows are dying on the road for this reason, and the Helpline number issued is not responding and responding to calls/queries related to Lumpy skin virus properly. It was further stated that only one Isolation Shelter for cows has been set up by the respondents in Rewala, Khanpur South-West District for 4500 Cattle. Although there are more than 20,000 to 25,000 stray cows in the National Capital.
The plea further alleges that ambulance service is available for holy cows so as to rescue or send them from other parts of Delhi to the South-west district isolation shelter and no place has been identified, allotted or proposed by respondents
for the burial of infected Cows.
The plea also sought a court direction to respondents to immediately constitute a team of Veterinary doctors in every zone of Delhi and direct this team to deal with and address cases of Lumpy disease. It also seeks directions to set up Lump Care Units/ Isolation Wards in all Zones/Districts of Delhi for the medical treatment of infected cows.
The petition also prayed for the issuance of direction to respondents to immediately arrange an Anti-dote of the vaccine in order to stop the further spread of this disease amongst other cows and direct respondents to administer the Anti-dote of the vaccine to stray cattle on a priority basis. (ANI)

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