Cattle sale ban in cold storage for a month

Bryan Strickland
May 31, 2017

The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Tuesday granted a stay on implementation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of livestock markets) Rules, 2017 for four weeks and also directed the central and state governments to file a counter-affidavit. It also sought four weeks to reply to the cases and argued against a stay of operation of the rules before they offer their reply.

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Some states organized "beef fests" to protest the ban.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan expressed strong disapproval of the Centre's move and sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, by attacking the BJP-led government at the Cntre and the RSS, saying "there was no need for the people of his state to draw lessons from New Delhi or Nagpur on their food habits". Mr Stalin said the Centre has "snatched away" the fundamental right to choice of food given by the Constitution and also criticised the state's ruling AIADMK for not "speaking up" on the issue.

The recent notification of the Centre has triggered widespread protests in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

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The decision is expected to hit export and trade of meat and leather.

She said it was a "deliberate attempt to encroach on the state's powers and destroy the federal structure" and asserted her government would challenge it.

The list of animals that can not be bought or sold for slaughter through cattle markets includes cows, bulls, buffaloes, heifers, calves and camels.

The PIL had prayed before the court that it is the basic right of an individual to choose his food after which the court placed the order on hold. Hence the provisions which prohibits sale, purchase for slaughter of animals for food and religious offering is violative of Article 29 of the Constitution of India.

"Thirdly, regulation of markets is within the domain of the State". The cattle ban controversy came in the midst of a festering row over cow slaughter and consumption of beef. The farmers and other traders involved in sale of cattle and other animals and slaughter houses and its employees would be gravely deprived of their right to livelihood by the new rules.

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