NEW DELHI: AMIDST growing controversy over recent cattle slaughter notification, the government on Sunday said it is open to review suggestions submitted by stakeholders against the ban on sale or purchase of cattle for slaughter animal market and there is no prestige issue.
Reiterating that the ban has nothing to do with influencing food habits or meat business, environment minister Harsh Vardhan said the intention was to ensure welfare of animals and to control their smuggling.
The minister hinted that the Centre may consider removing buffalo from the list of animals banned to be sold or bought for slaughtering in animal markets.
The centre’s move last month has drawn criticism from various quarters with Kerala and West Bengal calling the decision undemocratic, unconstitutional and impinging upon the rights of states.
Beef festivals were held in Kerala to register protest and Kerala CM has even written to all chief ministers on the issue. The Madras High Court had stayed for four weeks the enforcement of the Centre’s order.
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.
Several farmers’ organisations and meat trader groups have been sending their representation to the ministry of environment and forests, mentioning how it will impact the meat business.
India is the world’s largest buffalo meat exporter and the new regulations are expected to have an adverse impact on the meat industry.
Some of the largest cattle markets are hosted by Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh every year.