Killing of animals for food not illegal: SC

The Supreme Court has dismissed a petition aiming to reduce killing of animals and shift to lab-generated meat for human consumption.
After hearing the arguments, a Bench of Justice K.M. Joseph and Justice B.V. Nagarathna allowed the petitioner in person, advocate Sachin Gupta, the liberty to withdraw the plea.
Justice Joseph emphasised that the statute (Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act) allows for the killing of animals for food. So, how can there be a policy that contradicts the law, the judge asked.
“Your fundamental principle is that there should be no cruelty to animals. This is a violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Section 11 (cruel treatment of animals) allows eating (of animals). What do you want the Court to do? “Can the government create a policy that contradicts existing law?” queried the bench.
“It is one of the reasons in which a policy can be challenged apart from it being arbitrary, unlawful or contradictory to fundamental rights”, it further added.
The bench also stated that executive action cannot be contrary to a statue.
Justice Nagarathna stated that given the country’s large population, meat consumption cannot be prohibited.
“Under the Act, eating animals is permitted within specific parameters….with consideration to the country’s population, and you effectively want to restrict meat-eating in the country?”
The petitioner stressed that the petition is not seeking a ban, but rather for alternative sources rather than killing animals.
The bench then further inquired as to whose basic rights were violated in order for the petitioner to raise an Article 32 claim. “We suggest you withdraw the plea and move at a later stage”, the bench added.

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