The Centre is examining “issues” raised by states and some organisations on the recent ban imposed by it on sale and purchase of cattle at animal markets for slaughter, Union minister Venkaiah Naidu said today. 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 here. “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. The ministry had 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. 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 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. Meanwhile, officials in the Environment Ministry have said that they received several representations on the ban on sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter and are in the process of studying them.
Various bodies and political parties have reacted sharply to the government’s decision, saying it is an “ill-advised” move 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 will not accept it.