Harsh Vardhan added that the notification was not a “prestige issue” for the government, and it would review all the suggestions submitted to it.
New Delhi: Amid widespread protests over the ban on the sale of cattle for slaughter, the government said Sunday that the step was not taken to harm any community or group and that it was open to suggestions on the issue.
The intention behind the notification was not to harm any particular group, restrict the food habits of people or affect business, science and technology minister Harsh Vardhan, who also holds charge of the environment, has said. Dr Harsh Vardhan added that the notification was not a “prestige issue” for the government, and it would review all the suggestions submitted to it.
The environment and forests ministry had notified the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules 2017, banning trading in cattle (cows, bull, buffalo and camel) for slaughter at animal markets last week. The Madras high court has ordered a four-week stay on the ban as of now.
Protests had erupted in many states across the country after the May 23 order, with Opposition leaders crying foul. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has even threatened to go to court and claimed that the ban amounted to encroaching on the state’s powers and was an infringement of the federal principle.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has called for a nationwide agitation against the notification and has also invited all like-minded chief ministers for a meeting on the issue. The DMK in Tamil Nadu has also protested.
Some BJP leaders from the Northeast have also raised objections to the ban. The government had earlier indicated that it was talking to all stakeholders to review the various representations made by them and was considering whether buffalo meat could be excluded from the purview of the ban.