In a major step that is expected to affect millions of people, the government has imposed a nationwide ban on sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter. The new rule has been notified through the stringent ‘Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017’ under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. As per the notification, it would be the responsibility of the member secretary of an animal market committee to ensure that nobody brings a young animal to the animal market.
An excerpt from the notification reads, “No person shall bring a cattle to an animal market unless upon arrival he has furnished a written declaration signed by the owner of the cattle – stating the name and address of the owner of the cattle, with a copy of the photo identification proof. “Giving details of the identification of the cattle and stating that the cattle has not been brought to market for sale for slaughter.”
A senior official from the environment ministry said that the new rule is targeted at animal welfare and to prevent cruelty to animals. However, the ban has received strong opposition from some leaders. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the decision will destroy the secular fabric of the country. Vijayan said that meat is the staple diet of many people and it is not restricted to any specific religion. Congress leader Shashi Tharoor also strongly opposed the government’s move by saying that freedom is being eroded.