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MoEF To Consider Representations On New Rules Restricting Cattle Trade

As per a press release issued on Saturday, the Ministry of Environment and Forests has claimed to have received representations regarding certain provisions of the recently notified Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Market) Rules, 2017.

The new Rules, notified under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, ban the sale of cows and buffaloes for slaughter at animal markets across India, and allow only farmland owners to trade at animal markets. The notification covers bulls, bullocks, cows, buffaloes, steers, heifers and calves, as well as the camel trade. They also require anyone purchasing cattle to provide an undertaking that the animals are bought for agricultural purposes and not slaughter.

Clarifying that the specific provisions apply only to animals which are bought and sold in the notified live stock markets and animals that are seized as case properties, the release states, “The basic purpose of the Rule is to ensure welfare of the animals in the cattle market and ensure adequate facilities for housing, feeding, feed storage area, water supply, water troughs, ramps, enclosures for sick animals, veterinary care and proper drainage etc… The prime focus of the regulation is to protect the animals from cruelty and not to regulate the existing trade in cattle for slaughter houses. It is envisaged that welfare of cattle dealt in the market will be ensured and that only healthy animals are traded for agriculture purposes for the benefits of the farmers. The livestock markets are intended to become hubs for trade for animal for agriculture through this process and animal for slaughter will have to be bought from the farmers at the farms. The notified rules will remove the scope of illegal sale and smuggling of the cattle which is a major concern.”

Further, justifying its stand on the issuance of the Rules, the Centre makes reference to the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Gauri Maulekhi v. Union of India and others, wherein the Court had directed the authorities to frame guidelines for preventing smuggling of animals for the Gadhimai Festival held in Nepal, where large scale animal sacrifices take place. The Ministry of Environment and Forests was also directed to frame rules under Section 38 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 1960.

The Ministry had, to this effect, prepared the Draft Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017, inviting objections and suggestions from all persons likely to be affected by it within 30 days. As per the release, 13 representations were thereafter received, duly examined, and incorporated, “wherever found suitable”.

You may read: Ban on Trade of Cattle for Slaughter, does the Centre have the Power? By The Invisible Lawyer Team

You may also read: Why Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules 2017 is Unsustainable in Law? By Manu Sebastian

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