Narendra Modi government has decided to rollback the controversial notification that put a ban on sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets across the country. The decision of the Ministry of Environment and Forest was first reported by The Indian Express today. The notification ‘Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Market) Rules, 2017’ has come of May 23 this year, leading to widespread protests across the country. Officials told IE that they have written to the Ministry of Law about their decision to withdraw the controversial notification “due to several issues” and they would be “revising” it.
What the notification said
A gazzette notification dated May 23 by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, put restrictions on the sale of cattle. It mandated the constitution of District Animal Market Monitoring Committee by the District Magistrate or Collector and Animal Market Committee at the local level in consultation with District Magistrate and the State Board for the management of animal markets in the district.
It specifically mentioned: The purchaser of the cattle shall –
(i) not sell the animal for purpose of slaughter;
(ii) follow the State cattle protection or preservation laws;
(iii) not sacrifice the animal for any religious purpose;
(iv) not sell the cattle to a person outside the State without the permission as per the State cattle protection or preservation laws;
The notification had defined cattle as a bovine animal “including bulls, bullocks, cows, buffalos, steers, heifers and calves as well as camels.
Read more details about the notification here:
A senior environment ministry official had then told PTI that the notification was for “animal welfare.”
N G Jayasimha, former member of the legal sub-committee of Animal Welfare Board of India, had said due to the present system of open markets that allow trade of both milch and slaughter animals, and multiple buyers and sellers, it becomes impossible to trace an animal back to its farm of origin.
The notification was opposed from several sections of society, including farmers and opposition parties. Farmers had said they cannot directly access slaughterhouses to sell redundant cattle.
However, after months of protests, Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan had for the first time indicated the Centre may lift the ban. He had said that with the help of the notification, the government “did not intend to directly or indirectly affect slaughterhouses or harm farmers” or “influence the food habits of people”.
In July, the Supreme Court had suspended Centre’s notification. The apex court had upheld the Madras High Court order that had stayed the order. The SC then said, “Needless to say that the interim direction issued by the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court shall continue and extend to the entire country,” the bench said. The bench then disposed of the plea filed by the All India Jamiatul Quresh Action Committee challenging the constitutional validity of the May 23 notification.”