Centre tells Supreme Court that ban on cattle trade for slaughter is to regulate market

New Delhi: The Centre on Thursday told the Supreme Court that its notification banning the sale and purchase of cattle at animal markets for slaughter was aimed at having a “regulatory regime” on cattle trade across the country. Later, a senior government law official said the Centre will not push states to enforce new rules that made it virtually impossible to buy cattle for slaughter, and will consider allowing separate meat markets so that exports don’t hurt.

The Centre’s submission came as the apex court sought its response on the pleas challenging the May 26 notification under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act banning sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter. A vacation Bench comprising Justices R.K. Agrawal and S.K. Kaul issued notice to the government and asked it to file its reply on the pleas within two weeks and fixed the matter for hearing on July 11.

During the brief hearing, Additional Solicitor-General P.S. Narasimha, representing the Centre, told that Bench that the intention behind issuing the notification was to have some kind of a regulatory regime. He said the notification would also check irregularities in cattle markets and it would not have any impediment on the genuine cattle traders across the country.

When one of the petitioners requested the Bench to stay the notification, Narasimha said the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has already granted an interim stay on it and the rules would not be enforced as of now.

The counsel appearing for one of the petitioners told the apex court that due to the notification, serious problems have cropped up in places like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and other states. One of the petitioners before the apex court has claimed that provisions in the notification were unconstitutional as they violated the fundamental rights including freedom of conscience and religion and right to livelihood. The petitioner claimed that states like Kerala, West Bengal, Tripura and Karnataka have said that they would not implement the Centre’s ban as it would impact the livelihood of those involved in this business.

Another petitioner said that the rules will be depriving people food of their choice and is in violation of the right to livelihood under Article 21 of the Constitution.

  • Centre will not push states to enforce new rules that made it virtually impossible to buy cattle for slaughter, and will consider allowing separate meat markets so that exports don’t hurt.
  • The Centre’s submission came as the apex court sought its response on the pleas challenging the May 26 notification under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act banning sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter.
  • Additional Solicitor-General P.S. Narasimha, representing the Centre, told that Bench that the intention behind issuing the notification was to have some kind of a regulatory regime
  • The petitioner claimed that states like Kerala, West Bengal, Tripura and Karnataka have said that they would not implement the Centre’s ban as it would impact the livelihood of those involved in this business.

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