Sale, purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter banned

The Centre has banned sale of cattle for slaughter.

Minister for Animal Husbandry K. Raju said the decision to ban cattle slaughter was part of the RSS agenda against minorities and would hurt the interests of farmers.

The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has come up with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 after amending the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

The government's regulation released on Thursday for protection of cows in the name of animal welfare is significant considering the increasing cow vigilantism in the country, and violence against cow traders by Hindu vigilante groups, according to a Hindustan Times report.

To ensure the rules are implemented, undertakings will have to be taken in the market by "District Animal Market Monitoring Committee" (at district level) and "Animal Market Committee" at local level.

"Casting animals on hard ground without adequate bedding, forcing animals to perform any unnatural acts, such as dancing, putting any ornaments or decorative materials on animals, use of any type of muzzle to prevent animals from suckling or eating food and others", the notification said.

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The rules also have specific directions in case of adoption the policy.

The buyer has to furnish five copies of proof of sale - three of them to the animal market committee, local revenue office and local veterinary doctor, and one each for buyer and seller.

The rules say that "no person shall bring cattle to an animal market" unless a written declaration is furnished with details of owner, details of the identification of the cattle and mentions that the "cattle has not been brought to market for sale for slaughter".

The mandate entails that cattle can only be sold for agricultural purposes. The ban is applicable for ox, cow, buffalo and camel. Moreover, "young" and "unfit animals" cannot be traded.

There is also ban on setting up of cattle markets within 25 km radius of states. No animal market will now be able to run without approval of district animal market committee to be headed by a magistrate and having two representatives of government-approved animal welfare groups. The rule that makes it mandatory for the owner of the animal to bear the cost of its upkeep in a shelter.

There are also extensive conditions to ensure that smuggling of cattle is checked. The cost will be specified by the state government every year on April 1.

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