Export of livestock resumed from the Tuna port on the Kutch coast late on Tuesday after a gap of four months after the Gujarat High Court slammed the Customs Department for holding back shipping bills and observed that exporters had complied with the law.
After the monsoon break, trade was set to resume on August 6 but authorities imposed an embargo after several animal rights activists advocated a ban on exports, alleging the violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
However, CM Vijay Rupani on Wednesday reiterated that his government was committed to stop exports of live animals from the state’s ports.
Addressing a ceremony organised by animal rights organisation Rajkot Jeevdaya Ghar at Aravindbhai Maniyar Hall in Rajkot, Rupani Wednesday said that he was ready to make any sacrifice for ‘jeevdaya’ (compassion to animals). “The state government is committed to stop at any cost the exports of live animals from the ports of the state. Central government is also in the process of making necessary changes in laws to ensure this,” he said.
Two mechanised sailing vessels left the Tuna port late on Tuesday night with around 3,500 goats and sheep.
A top DPT officer said, “The exporter had submitted required documents for the consignment and therefore, the consignment was allowed to be loaded from the port.”
An exporter requesting anonymity said the consignment was headed for Dubai and Sharjah in the UAE. “This is a huge relief as finally we have been able to honour our supply commitments to importers,” the exporter said.
Controlled by the DPT, Tuna is the only port besides the Mumbai port on the west coast from where export of livestock is permitted.
The Kutch District Magistrate had ordered suspension of movement of livestock on August 6 on the ground that provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 were being violated. The Directorate General of Shipping had later withdrawn its special permission for MSVs to operate during August. The DM had formed a three-member panel which had concluded that the exporters were violating legal norms. Union Minister of State for Shipping, Mansukh Mandaviya, had said that the Centre was in favour of banning export of livestock from all ports of the country due to protests by animal rights activists.