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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

Cattle trade ban: ‘No decision’ on excluding buffaloes

Opposition parties from across the country have upped the ante against the Centre’s ban on sale of cattle for slaughter at animal markets.

india Updated: May 30, 2017 09:17 IST

HT Correspondent, New Delhi
A caretaker guides calves through the door at a cow shelter in New Delhi.
A caretaker guides calves through the door at a cow shelter in New Delhi.(AFP File Photo)

The environment ministry said on Monday it 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’s statement comes after some media reports suggested that it could revisit 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 establishment of an animal market in a place that is situated within 25km from any state border and within 50km 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 if the Centre would ban the consumption of fish tomorrow and had suggested exploring legal options.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday 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.

Meanwhile, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi condemned the slaughter of a cow by Youth Congress workers at a public square in Kerala’s Kannur to defy the central government’s curbs on the sale and purchase of the animal.

The Congress suspended three functionaries associated with the slaughter and party vice president Rahul Gandhi called the incident barbaric, saying his party won’t tolerate such acts.

Focus on cows, considered sacred by Hindus, and beef has increased since the BJP won power in 2014. The party’s ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, has long pushed for a nationwide ban on cattle slaughter and trade.

Most of the protests on Monday over the cattle trade rules were recorded in Kerala and neighbouring Tamil Nadu, where cow slaughter is not banned.

In IIT Madras, about 80 students organised a beef festival on the campus of the country’s premier engineering institute. “It is our democratic right to choose our food,” said Abhinav Surya, a final-year student.

Tamil Nadu’s main opposition DMK has planned a protest on May 31. DMK working president MK Stalin will lead the protest in Chennai, the party said, adding “the fundamental right to choice of food granted by the Constitution has been snatched away”.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: May 30, 2017 08:23 IST

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