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Cattle trade rules will see changes to clear misunderstandings: Harsh Vardhan

The central government has received representations from slaughter houses and allied industries in the wake of the new cattle trade rules.

india Updated: Jul 05, 2017 13:15 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
Cattle trade rules,Beef ban,Beef protests
This photo taken on May 27, 2017 shows an Indian farmer carrying a container of a milk past cattle feeding at a farm before the milk is picked up by milkmen for delivery on the outskirts of Jalandhar. (AFP)

The controversial rules prohibiting sale of cows and buffaloes for slaughter will be changed to clear “doubts and misinterpretations”, environment minister Harsh Vardhan said on Tuesday in comments that came after widespread outrage in several states.

The new rules do not amount to a blanket ban on cattle trade or their slaughter, and licensed breeding remains legal but experts say they can crimp supplies to the country’s Rs 1-lakh crore meat and allied industries that source about 90% of their requirements from animal markets.

“The rules have created a lot of misunderstanding,” Vardhan told Hindustan Times. “We are looking at bringing changes in the language to clear doubts, misinterpretations and misconceptions created after the rules were notified”.

Vardhan said the changes are yet be to finalised.

The ministry has received representations from slaughter houses and allied industries which fear the rules will kill their business.

State governments and non-government organisations have also asked the environment ministry to amend the rules, saying livelihood sources of the poor, especially Muslims and Dalits, would be crippled.

Vardhan said the government was looking at “improving” the rules so that the misconceptions created in different parts of the country are cleared.

“The rules are not against slaughter of animals or against the farmers as the perception is being created. The rules cause no loss to farmers as they are allowed to sell the animals to traders,” he said.

The minister also debunked allegations the government was hell-bent on changing eating habits of people, as claimed by Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan after the rules were notified on May 23.

Several Youth Congress leaders were booked for organising a beef party in Kerala and an IIT student was assaulted by fringe Hindu groups for having a similar party in the premier technological institute.

Ministry sources ruled out the possibility of the changes soon, saying they would wait for a June 15 Supreme Court hearing on a batch of petitions challenging the legality of the notification.

The Centre is on the backfoot since the rules were notified, with opposition from within and outside.

Left-ruled Kerala and Congress-ruled Meghalaya assemblies have passed resolutions saying they will not implement the rules. Other northeastern states are also unhappy with the rules.

Several BJP leaders in Meghalaya resigned from the party over the new rules though the party said they were about to be thrown out for indiscipline.

First Published: Jun 13, 2017 22:15 IST