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SC to hear plea against ban on sale of animals for slaughter on 15 June

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear on 15 June a plea challenging the government notification prohibiting the sale of animals at animal markets for slaughter on the grounds that it violated the right to free trade.

A vacation bench of Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Deepak Gupta directed the listing of the matter on June 15 as counsel Sanobar Ali Qureshi, appearing for petitioner Mohammed Abdul Faheem Qureshi, on Wednesday mentioned the matter for an early hearing.

BJP's cattle restrictions. Representational image. AP

Representational image. AP

Challenging 23 May notification, counsel Qureshi told the bench that the official declaration was contrary to the provision of law that permitted the sale of animals for religious sacrifices.

Earlier, Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian has sounded caution over the cattle slaughter ban, saying such policies could "adversely" impact the economics of livestock farming in India.

Addressing fellows of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) on Monday evening, Subramanian said while the governments had the right to frame social policies but considering economic costs of such policies was also imperative.

"On dairy and livestock, two points are worth emphasising. The governments have the right to choose their social policies. But in doing so, they must be fully aware of the economic costs of these policies.

"If social policies impede the workings of the livestock market, the impact on the economics of livestock farming could be considerable. These must be costed for appropriate choices to be made," the economist said giving the foundation day lecture of the government-funded institute that conducts research in agriculture and allied sectors.

He stressed that the economics of livestock farming "must be recognised" also because "the fate and future of this source of livelihood will depend critically on the terminal value of ... the no-longer-productive livestock.

"If social policies drive this terminal value precipitously down, private returns could be affected in a manner that could make livestock farming less profitable."

Subramanian said the declining terminal value arises because of two factors — loss of income from livestock as meat and the additional costs to maintain an unproductive livestock.

"But there is more. It is possible that social policies could affect social returns even more adversely. Stray cattle, and a lot of it, will have to be looked after, otherwise diseases (like foot and mouth) could spread, leading to health hazards and social costs."

Updated Date: Jun 07, 2017 11:56 AM

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