Sale, purchase of cattle for slaughter banned

Sale, purchase of cattle for slaughter banned
The government has banned the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter.

The environment ministry has notified the stringent 'Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017' under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

According to the notification, the member secretary of an animal market committee will have to ensure that no person brings a young animal to the animal market.

"No person shall bring a cattle to an animal market unless upon arrival he has furnished a written declaration signed by the owner of the cattle - stating the name and address of the owner of the cattle, with a copy of the photo identification proof.

"Giving details of the identification of the cattle and stating that the cattle has not been brought to market for sale for slaughter," the notification said.

A senior environment ministry official said that the notification is in the direction of animal welfare.

The notification has described the "animal market" as a marketplace or sale-yard to which animals are brought from other places and exposed for sale or auction and includes any lairage adjoining a market or a slaughterhouse.

The new rules do not amount to a blanket ban on cattle trade or their slaughter, and license breeding remains legal. But the move will choke supplies to the country's Rs 1-lakh crore meat and allied industries which source about 90% of their requirements from animal markets. The regulation is silent on cattle sales by individuals.

The worst hit, however, will be the mostly meat and leather traders who face mounting violence by increasingly assertive cow vigilante groups. Farmers will also be hit because they will be deprived of a traditional source of income from selling non-milch and ageing cattle.

The new rules were approved by former environment minister Anil Madhav Dave before his death last week, ministry sources said. The ministry drafted the rules on Supreme Court directions aimed at improving condition of animals in these markets.

To be implemented in the next three months, the move would increase paperwork for cow traders who are mostly poor and illiterate. For instance, before the trade, both seller and buyer will have to produce identity and farmland ownership documents
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