Leopards at Uttarakhand's Chidiyapur animal rescue centre, located on the outskirts of Haridwar, are being fed chicken due to the shortage of beef after the crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses in UP, reports Hindustan Times

According to the Forest Department officials, the full-grown leopards (in an age bracket of seven and nine years)  need at least 6 kg of protein and fat rich meat, either buffalo or goat, to stay fit.

Source: b'need at least 6 kg of protein and fat rich meat - either buffalo or goat, to stay fit/ Source: PTI'

Officials cannot purchase mutton locally in Haridwar as it's a Hindu pilgrimage centre and there are no slaughterhouses or meat shops there. Even the contractors from the Bijnour in Uttar Pradesh who used to supply them buffalo meat are now incapable of doing so. 

Divisional Forest offcier HK Singh told HT that they will float a fresh tender for the supply of goat or sheep meat to provide wholesome meal to the leopards. 

Meanwhile, the Lucknow Municipal Corporation on Wednesday sealed nine meat shops in the state capital. A comprehensive drive has also been launched across 11 districts around Lucknow against illegal transportation of cattle and meat, slaughter houses and cow slaughter.

Source: b'Lucknow Municipal Corporation Wednesday sealed nine meat shops in the state capital/ Source: PTI'

Besides Lucknow, the other districts are Unnao, Barabanki, Rae Bareli, Sitapur, Hardoi, Lakhimpur Kheri, Amethi, Sultanpur, Faizabad and Ambedkar Nagar.

Amid raging controversy over crackdown on slaughter houses, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath said the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had in the past couple of years insisted on their closure.

"The government will not touch those (slaughterhouses) which are operating as per the provisions of law and have a valid licence. But, those which are violating the orders of the NGT and playing with the health of the public would not be spared." he said. 

(With inputs from PTI)

(Feature image source: Reuters/PTI)