National level meet to reach consensus on cattle trade rules

Officials from PMO are in direct contact with the environment ministry officials following criticism by several states and concerns raised by traders across the country.

Published: 11th July 2017 08:11 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th July 2017 08:11 PM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: As Centre assured the apex court of reconsidering notification on cattle trade, PMO is directly guiding the union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) on the issue and a national level meeting of stake holders, including states, will be held soon to arrive at a consensus.

Officials from PMO are in direct contact with the environment ministry officials following criticism by several states and concerns raised by traders across the country.

With the environment ministry assuring the apex court that it will renotify rules banning purchase or sale of cattle in animal markets for slaughtering, stage is prepared for a national wide stake holders meet having representatives from meat and leather industry, farmer organizations, state authorities and animal experts among others.

“The idea is to again discuss the notification and arrive at a consensus which is acceptable to all parties dealing in cattle trade. After an agreed draft is ready, the ministry will put it on the website inviting comments. Based on the comment, a new notification or an amendment to existing will be issued. The process is likely to take two months time,” said a senior environment ministry official.

The official added that the ministry is trading vary cautiously as PMO is directly guiding and monitoring the whole issue.

The decision by the Centre has irked the animal rights activists, who feel the move to reconsider it is a political decision.        

"It is the 2019 Lok Sabha elections that seems to have made the government rethink its decision. If they want to bring some clarity on slaughter or transport of animals, then it should include all animals that are on the list and not just buffaloes,” said N G Jayasimha, a member of the committee that drafted the new rules.

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 do not ban cattle slaughter or trade but regulate animal markets and illegal trade. The notification includes bulls, bullocks, cows, buffalos, steers, heifers and calves and includes camels.

The Madras High Court had stayed for four weeks the enforcement of the Centre’s order.

The move in May invited criticism from various quarters with Kerala and West Bengal calling the decision undemocratic, unconstitutional and impinging upon the rights of states. Both Kerala and Meghalaya assemblies had passed resolutions against the central rules.   Beef festivals were held in Kerala to register protest and Kerala CM has even written to all chief ministers on the issue.

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