The Karnataka government today said it was analysing the “developments” following the Centre’s ban on sale and purchase of cattle at animal markets for slaughter, calling it a “state subject”. “We are examining devpmts & awaiting Govt Order on Centre’s recent curb on sale of cattle for slaughter, esp since this is a State subject (sic),” Chief Minister Siddaramaiah wrote on Twitter. “We r assessing impact of Centre’s notfctn reltd to PCA (Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) on farmers, cattle rearers & animal mkt. All stakeholder interests must b protected (sic),” he said in another tweet.
The state has the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation Act, 1964 to deal with such issues. The Union Environment Ministry had last week 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 at animal markets for the purpose of slaughter. The decision has drawn flak from the opposition parties and various organisations who claim that it would hit the 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. It also prohibits the establishment of an animal market within 25 kms from a state border and within 50 kms from the international border. Describing the move as “anti-federal, anti-democratic and anti-secular”, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has shot off letters to his counterparts in other states, asking them to “stand together” in opposing the ban and urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw the new regulations. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has described the Centre’s notification as a “deliberate attempt to encroach upon the states’ powers” and said her government will not accept it.