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Cattle sale restrictions: Madras High Court issues four-week stay on Centre's notification, seeks govt response

The Madras High Court has granted a four-week stay on the Centre's notification on cattle slaughter, according to media reports.

 

The environment ministry on Friday notified the stringent Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, banning the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter.

Environment minister Harsh Vardhan had said the new rules, which banned the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter aimed at regulating such markets and also the sale of bovines. Vardhan noted that the rules were "very specific" and sellers and buyers had to ensure that cattle are not brought or sold in the markets for slaughter and an undertaking to this effect had to be obtained.

File image of Harsh Vardhan. PTI

File image of Harsh Vardhan. PTI

He clarified that these provisions only apply to animals in the livestock market and animal seized as case properties. The rules defined cattle as a bovine animal including bulls, bullocks, cows, buffaloes, steers, heifers and calves and camels.

The new rules also prohibited the establishment of an animal market in a place which is situated within 25 km from any state border and within 50 km from any international border.

Various bodies and political parties had reacted sharply to the government's decision. saying it was "ill advised" decision which would widen the "terrorism" by cow vigilantes.

The All India Meat and Livestock Exporters Association claimed the government's decision will eventually hit the farmers. "It is the unproductive cattle, which arrives in large number for sale in these markets, as their feasibility virtually cease to exist, while the per day maintenance cost goes up.

"The high yielding milching animals rarely arrive at the cattle market for sale. The per day cost incurred on a buffalo ranges from Rs 125 to Rs 150, while the general price of the milk sold is Rs 40 per litre. If the per day milk production dips, then gradually the cattle becomes unproductive," a spokesperson of the association, Fauzan Alavi, said in Lucknow. The CPI termed the decision as "most unwise" and alleged that it was taken by the RSS.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan asked whether the Centre will ban the consumption of fish, another minister in his cabinet termed the decision as against the Constitution. Others said it will give rise to unemployment while VHP demanded a law to completely ban cow slaughter and life imprisonment for such acts.

Union minister Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said the Centre was examining issues raised by states and some organisations on the recent ban imposed on sale and purchase of cattle at animal markets for slaughter. The ban was notified in the backdrop of some observations made by the Supreme Court and a parliamentary committee on preventing cruelty to animals and breaking nexus in animal markets, including for smuggling, Naidu told reporters.

"However, subsequently some issues were raised by some state governments and other trade organisations. These issues are being examined by the government," Naidu said. The environment ministry, which had notified the rules last week, received 13 representations on them.

With inputs from agencies


Published Date: May 30, 2017 17:22 PM | Updated Date: May 30, 2017 17:22 PM

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