Vadodara: Today (August 12) is Bakrid, a day that stands for sacrifice. On this day, lakhs and lakhs of goats and sheep are slaughtered (Qurbani) as a measure to propitiate Allah.

However, the slaughter of animals has not gone down too well with many animal activists who call it “mindless”.

A group in Vadodara, Gujarat, has purchased close to 100 sheep and goats from a mandi in the state, with the view to saving them from the slaughterers’ merciless axes. The story was reported by The Indian Express in June.

The group, which calls itself “Sarvadharm Jeevdaya Samiti”, has also to its credit the launching of a campaign to ban export of goats and sheep to the Middle East.

“We are not against any religion nor is this campaign against any religion. We strive to increase awareness about animal rights and want to get more people voluntarily join our cause. We are animal lovers who are appalled by the inhuman treatment meted out to these silent creatures,” The Indian Express quoted Rajeev Shah, secretary of Shri Vadodara Panjrapole, which manages two animal shelters in Vadodara.

This move to save sheep and goats had gotten enormous support as a few patrons, as the newspaper quoted, came forward and donated a sum of Rs 15 lakh for the cause. With this money, they purchased more goats and sheep in order to protect them.

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On the other hand, Muslims feel that the move to buy goats and sheep to stop them from going to abattoirs only hampered their prospects.

“Following some incidents in the past and also a consistent opposition from animal rights groups across the world against the practice of sacrifice on Bakri Eid, the community leaders and even the Darool Uloom issued circulars last year advising members of the community to refrain from sharing videos of the sacrifice on social media or making a show of it. The ritual of sacrifice is meant to be an inherent, but an extremely private practice, and the restrain is necessary to make sure that the sentiment of other communities are not hurt in the process,” the newspaper quoted Zuber Goplani, a Muslim social activist.