The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change has notified rules that prevents sale of cows, buffaloes and other bovines for slaughter at markets across the country.
The Centre notified the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017. As per the notification those who wish to sell cattle (bulls, cows, buffaloes, camels etc.) in the market, can do it only after making a formal statement that the animals were not sold for slaughter.
The notification also contains provisions to prevents cruel transport and treatment of animals.
How will the verification of buyers take place:
- The buyers will have to verify that they are agriculturist and will not sell the animals for a period of six months from the date of purchase
- The rules also clearly state that the buyers follow the state cattle protection and preservation laws and do not sacrifice the animals for religious purposes
- Cattles purchased from an animal market could not be sold without permission outside the state
- To implement rules and to monitor the functioning of the animal markets, committees will be set up at the state and district level
- Animal markets will be identified and registered and any new market will need approval from the District animal market monitoring committee.
- The District animal market monitoring committee will be chaired by the district collector
- The prevent the smuggling, animal markets will not function within 25 km of a state border and 50 km of an international border
Impact of the notification on industry and employment:
- The representatives from industry has asked for a meeting with the central government ministers to inform them about the adverse impact of the notification on industry, employment and the export sector
- Though the notification does not prevent individual sale of cattle for slaughter, currently around 90 percent of buffaloes are bought from animal markets by middlemen that are sold to slaughterhouses and only 10 percent are bought directly from farmers
SC directive to prevent cattle smuggling:
- The Supreme court has earlier directed the government to form an inter-ministerial committee to recommend ways to prevent cattle smuggling
- The directive by the court was in response to a writ petition filled in the Supreme court
- The rules will help weed out middlemen from the supply chain, curb illegitimate slaughter and smuggling of cattle’s
- The supreme court has not been consistent in its judgements, while the court banned jallikattu, it refused to intervene with states to frame a uniform policy on cattle slaughter. The court even refused to examine a plea to ban animal sacrifices for religious purposes.