The Karnataka High Court last week urged the State government to open a gaushala (cow shelter) in every village in accordance with the Karnataka Cattle Slaughter Prevention and Protection Act, to prevent cow slaughter [High Court Legal Services Committee v. State of Karnataka and Ors].A division bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Suraj Govindaraj was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) petition which had been filed by the High Court Legal Services Committee, demanding that gaushalas be set up in every taluk, and to direct the government to provide adequate fodder, water and space for existing cow shelters. .The Additional Advocate General appearing on behalf of the State, said that the State government has decided to set up gaushalas in every district of the State under Section 19 (establishment of institutions for taking care of cattle) of the Karnataka Cattle Slaughter Prevention and Protection Act. The Court opined that gaushalas should be opened in every village, and not just at the district and taluka levels. In other States, governments have set up gaushalas in every village, the Bench remarked..The Court also questioned the State about the guidelines for starting gaushalas, the number of gaushalas which are currently present, how many are expected to be launched in the future, and how they are to be managed. The Bench asked for information on the kind of fodder being supplied, its cost, and the number of animals housed in each shed. It is only when uniform guidelines are adopted that the gaushalas can be appropriately maintained, the Court noted..The State replied that 197 gaushalas had been opened in each district during the pendency of the petition. The Court directed the State to inform the Bench about the guidelines for starting and maintaining gaushalas, and steps taken to ensure the welfare of the cattle on the next date of the hearing, 11th February, 2022.