The environment ministry has received several representations on the recent ban on sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter from animal markets, and it is in the process of studying them. The ministry said this today after some media reports suggested that it was considering a revisit to its order to exclude buffaloes from the new restrictions. The ministry had recently 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. “We have received several representations. We are studying them. As of now, no decision has been taken,” a top environment ministry official told PTI.
The decision is expected to hit export and trade of meat and leather. The rules define cattle as a bovine animal including bulls, bullocks, cows, buffaloes, steers, heifers and calves and camels. The new rules also prohibit 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. The ministry, in its official statement on May 27 had said 13 representations were received regarding the rules. “The representations received will be duly examined in the ministry,” it had said in the statement. Various bodies and political parties have reacted sharply to the government’s decision to ban the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter, saying it is an “ill-advised” decision which will widen the “terrorism” by cow vigilantes.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had asked whether the Centre would ban the consumption of fish tomorrow and had suggested exploring legal options. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today described the Centre’s notification on cattle slaughter as a “deliberate attempt to encroach upon the state’s powers” and said her government would not accept it.