SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Authorities in Indian-controlled Kashmir have banned the sacrifice of animals during the upcoming Islamic Eid al-Adha holiday, in a ruling that is likely to further stoke anti-India anger in the disputed Muslim-majority region.
An order issued on Thursday said the “illegal killing/sacrifices of cows/calves, camels & other animals” must be stopped, citing animal welfare laws.
It’s unclear why the government issued a near total ban on sacrificing animals. Generally, cows are considered sacred in Hindu-majority India, and slaughtering them or eating beef is illegal or restricted across much of the country. Despite the ban on cow slaughter in Kashmir, beef is widely available across much of the Muslim-majority areas.
Muslims traditionally mark Eid al-Adha, or Feast of Sacrifice, by offering special prayers and slaughtering livestock, usually a goat, sheep, a cow or a camel, to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s test of faith. The meat of the sacrificed animals is shared among family and friends and poor people who cannot afford to sacrifice animals.
This year’s Muslim holiday falls on July 21-23 in the region.