Union Govt. bans sale of cattle in animal market for slaughter

Faith Castro
May 28, 2017

"The specific provisions apply only to animals which are bought and sold in the notified livestock markets and animals seized as case properties".

A senior environment ministry was cited as saying that the notification is in the direction of animal welfare.

Cattle can not be brought to an animal market for sale for slaughter.

Asserting the notification can not be accepted, local administration minister, K.T.Jaleel said it amounts to intrusion into the powers of the state.

The central regulation for cattle business notified this week allows only farmland owners to trade at animal markets. Harsh Vardhan said that this notification is to regulate the animal market and the sale of cattle thereby ensuring welfare of cattle dealt in market. The ban is on trading ox, cow, buffalo and camel. "Cruel and harmful practices shall be prohibited, namely animal identification methods such as hot branding and cold branding, shearing and painting of horns, bishoping in horses and ear cutting in buffaloes". And the Act has not imposed any restrictions on the sale of cattle for any goal.

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India is one of the largest exporters of buffalo meat, selling $4 billion worth of beef in the 2015-16 fiscal year.

The Tamil Nadu unit of the CPI also condemned the Centre's new notification and called for state-wide protests against the decision.

In short, the Centre has made it near impossible to buy and sell cattle for meat in animal markets. The BJP-led government is imposing its agendas without taking the states into confidence. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the centre's decision was "surprising" which was unsuitable for a democratic nation. However, the ban has received strong opposition from some leaders. "We are absolutely sure that the law is absolutely pious and there is no bias against anyone".

The environment ministry said this week that animal markets will only be able to trade in cattle meant for agricultural purposes, the biggest blow yet for meat suppliers facing several reverses under Modi's three-year-old Bharatiya Janata Party government. A trader has to submit five copies of proof of sale at the local revenue office, the local veterinary doctor in the district of the purchaser, animal market committee, apart from one each for seller and buyer.

"We commend the ministry for their vision and their efforts to protect the most vulnerable animals, be it animals used as reproductive machines for breeding or animals that are cruelly sold off at unregulated markets", said Gauri Maulekhi, a member of People For Animals (PFA).

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