Free Press Journal

The battle of cattle is a misinterpretation of Centre’s ban


The Central Government’s rule regarding the nation-wide ban on the sale of cattle for slaughter at livestock markets was not welcomed with open arms. In response to the announcement several states -Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka – raised protests quoting two reason – individual’s right of food choices and impact on traders. Here cattle includes bulls, bullocks, cows, buffalo, steers, heifers, calves and camels.

To protest the Centre’s decision of the ban, Beef Fests were organised in various parts of Kerala recently. What attracted a lot of criticism was the Youth Congress’ Fest that slaughtered cattle in broad daylight and that too in public. While doing so, the Youth Congress leader Rigil Makkutty is heard saying, “The government’s decision is an act of cruelty against a large population. To oppose this we will slaughter cattle in public and we will distribute the meat to the public.” The video was posted on Twitter by BJP Kerala State President Kummanam Rajashekaram.

The ban took a grief turn when the Madras High Court on Tuesday granted a four-week interim stay on the rules that stated a ban on the sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter at animal fairs. The hearing was in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a Madurai based activist and lawyer S Selvagomathy.

But what comes as a shock is the misinterpretation of the Centre’s order. Modi’s government never announced a direct ban on cattle slaughter. In fact, it only prohibited the sale of animals for the purpose of slaughter at market places, examining the manner cattle’s being treated when being brought for slaughter and on the quality of the meat. With the new rules one is allowed to buy cattle for slaughter directly from farms and not from the livestock market.

Though the Centre’s aim was for the betterment of infrastructure quality of meat and better rules for the transport of cattle, it would have been better if the government, without creating much disturbance, would have come up with drives in meat trade. The disturbance created by the eaters is a bit hyped as consuming beef is not ban, unless and until you buy the meat from an outlet that sources it from the farm. The only problem is as the middle-man is not involved the process would be complicated and lengthy.