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| Last Updated:: 07/10/2014

Tonk Royalty sacrifices a tradition

It will no longer slaughter the camel, Rajasthan’s state animal

The royal family of Tonk has decided to do away with the 150-year-old tradition of camel sacrifice on Eid-ul-Zuha (to be celebrated on Monday).

The decision was taken after Rajasthan declared the camel as the State animalwhich makes its killing illegal. Animal lovers had also been demanding an end to the practice for many years, and have been seeking Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s intervention.

Nawab Hamid Ali, member of the royal family, said the decision was taken to maintain communal harmony and to respect the law of the land.The tradition of sacrificing camels was started in 1864 by the then ruler of Tonk Nawab Ibrahim Ali Khan IV. The camel meat was then distributed among the poor.

Until 1990, the family sacrificed two camels every Eid-ul-Zuha — one at Idgah and another inside Nawab Mahal. From 1992, the family used to sacrifice only one camel.

Cow slaughter is banned under the Rajasthan Bovine Animal (Prohibition on Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Exports) Act, 1995, and the State proposes to bring another law on the same lines to ban camel slaughter.

Dwindling numbers

As per the 19th round of Livestock Census data, there are only 3.22 lakh camels left in Rajasthan as compared to 4.3 lakh in 2007 Census. There were 6.68 lakh camels in 1997 which came down to 4.98 lakh in 2003, amounting to a 25 per cent decrease in five years. By 2008, the number decreased further by 13.5 per cent to 4.30 lakh.

The latest census puts the figure at 4 lakh.

Source: The Hindu