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  India   All India  26 May 2017  Govt bans sale of cows for slaughter at animal markets

Govt bans sale of cows for slaughter at animal markets

Published : May 26, 2017, 4:15 pm IST
Updated : May 26, 2017, 4:27 pm IST

The report suggests that Muslim cow traders will be the hardest hit group, amid growing violence by cow vigilantes.

Representational image (Photo: File)
 Representational image (Photo: File)

New Delhi: In a move that might deprive meat suppliers of stock and also will hurt farmers across the country, the Central government has banned the sale of cows for slaughter at animal markets across India.

According to a Hindustan Times report, the new regulations permit trade only between farmland owners. The first central regulation for cattle, it will cover cows, bulls, bullocks, buffalos, steers, heifers and camels.

The report suggests that Muslim cow traders will be the hardest hit group, amid growing violence by cow vigilantes.

The rules direct committees controlling animal markets to ‘take an undertaking that the animals are bought for agriculture purposes and not for slaughter’.

While regulating cow trade falls under the governance of the state, animal welfare is regulated by the Centre (under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act of 1960), which recently promulgated an ordinance permitting Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu. Currently, cow slaughter is banned by most states excluding Kerala and parts of Northeast India.

Uttar Pradesh leads the meat business in India, which amounted to around Rs 1 crore with exports valuing around Rs 26,303 in 2016-17.

The state is followed by Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Telangana in meat business, according to the report. It also stated that several states hold weekly animal markets near borders to bring traders from adjacent states. 

However, the report also observed that the rule will increase the paperwork to be done by traders, who are predominantly poor and illiterate. The trader will have to make five copies of the proof of sale, to be given to the local revenue office, the local veterinary doctor in the district of the purchaser, animal market committee and the buyer apart from a copy for himself.

Furthermore, the eight-page rule enforced by the environment ministry limits parties to set animal markets within 50 kilometres of an international border and 25 kilometres of a state border. It also mandates special approval of the state to transport the animal outside.

It also prescribes about 30 requisites in markets for animal welfare such as water, fans, bedding, ramps, non-slippery flooring, veterinary facility and separate enclosure for sick animals. Also, cattle can be sold only to a person who can prove to be an ‘agriculturist’. Moreover, ‘young’ and ‘unfit animals’ can not be traded.

In addition, no animal market will be able to function without the go-ahead from a district animal market committee, headed by a magistrate and two representatives of government-approved animal welfare groups.

The new regulations also make it necessary for the veterinary inspector to check proper loading and unloading of animals to ensure they are not cramped in transit. It also gives the inspector the authority to deem any animal unfit for sale.

The new rules will also make the cost of the animal’s upkeep at a shelter the owner’s responsibility.

Tags: cow slaughter, cattle trade, cow vigilantes, environment ministry
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi