Hinting out the fact that government’s recent notification on the regulation of animal market is not a permanent fix, Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan on June 4 said that the government is not viewing it as a prestige issue and has taken into consideration all the objections that has been raised in the matter so far.
According to a recent order by the Regulation of Livestock Market rules, drafted under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960 trading of cattle like cows and buffaloes at animal markets for the purpose of slaughtering them was banned. However, it was later criticised by many claiming the move by the central government to ban cow slaughter even in those states where it is legal.
As per a report by Indian Express, the Madras High Court stayed the implementation of the cattle ban for four weeks. Many groups have written to the Environment Ministry to protest against the new rules. Commenting on the same, Harsh Vardhan said, “We are carefully studying all the suggestions that we have been receiving. Our officials have also met a few groups of stakeholders.”
When asked whether the government was under pressure to take amendments, Harsh Vardhan said, “We will do what is the right thing. There is no prestige issue involved here.”
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Apart from Harsh Vardhan, even the Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu had also said that the government was open to conduct a review of its order. The Indian Express report further informed that the Environment Ministry has so far received three major objections to the notification – largely from meat traders, some wants buffalo to be excluded from the purview of the rules the domestic meat market and their exports are not affected.
Many other have also objected the notification over the elaborate need for permissions and licences that comes along the new rule. Even some of the state government such as West Bengal have challenged Central government’s intervention when animal market comes under the purview of the state government.
However, Harsh Vardhan said that the government’s move was not meant to control people’s food habits, but was just aimed at preventing cruelty to animals at these markets.