Free Press Journal

In draft rules, government scraps ban on sale of cattle for slaughter


New Delhi: The government has withdrawn a ban on the sale of animals for slaughter in livestock markets across the country, in draft rules pertaining to prevention of cruelty to animals.

Once the new rules are notified after consultation with stakeholders, cattle, including cows, can be sold in animal markets, even for slaughter wherever it is legal.

The old notification mandated declarations by sellers and buyers that the animals would not be taken for slaughter. The move had drawn widespread criticism.

The old notification also had stringent guidelines such as the purchaser of the cattle shall not sell it for slaughtering.

Several states had opposed the notification. Kerala approached the Centre raising its concern over the issue.

The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court had stayed the notification on livestock market rules.

The Supreme Court then stayed the rules in July last year.

Such regulations, however, have now been removed from the new draft, which will be notified as ‘rules’ after analysing stakeholders’ comments later this month.

The new draft deals with cruelty aspect of animal sales and specifies ‘prohibited practice’, including certain ‘do’s and don’ts’.

For instance, acts such as hot branding or cold branding for identification of animals, shearing of horns, bishoping in horses and ear cutting in buffaloes, among other “cruel and harmful” practices have been prohibited.

It also states that “no unfit or young animal” shall be sold in an animal market.

However, it also dilutes many provisions that were there in last year’s rules for not only regulating livestock markets but introducing best practices to minimise cruelty and trace sources of procuring animals to weed out unhealthy ones.