Condemning Centre’s decision to ban the sale and purchase of cattle in animal market, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that it is a “deliberate attempt to encroach into state power”. The Trinamool Congress leader also called the move undemocratic and unethical.
Addressing a press conference at the state secretariat, Banerjee said, “We will challenge it legally. We will consult the state’s Advocate-General on this matter. I will request the Centre not to interfere with the state’s matter and destroy the federal structure.”
The government of West Bengal had earlier disapproved of Centre’s move to banning sale of cattle from animal market for slaughter saying that such a decision cannot be taken unilaterally in a federal structure. “The Centre has not discussed the matter with us. Everybody knows our stand on this issue. Let us get the notification first, then we will decide our next course of action,” State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee had said.
The central government had on May 26 banned all activities perceived cruel towards animals including sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter and practices like painting the horns of animals or putting decorative materials on them. The environment ministry aims to monitor the animal market and also oversee the sale of cattle, under the ‘Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017’.
Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said the provisions are applicable to the animals in livestock market only and those seized as case properties. The new rules prevent people from lifting animals off the ground for weighing, dragging and suspending the animal of the ground or putting a muzzle on them.