Union Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday said the government has invited more representation from states to discuss its notification on the ban on sale of cattle for slaughter, especially those who may have ‘misconceptions’, reported news agency ANI. He added that neither does the government want to influence food habits in the country nor is it interested in disturbing the business of slaughter. His comments come a week after he said the order is not a ‘prestige issue’ for the government, which is taking into consideration the feedback it has received.
“Suggestions that have been submitted will be reviewed. It is not a prestige issue for the government,” Vardhan had told reporters last week.
The Regulation of Livestock Market Rules, framed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960, was issued by the government last month banning the trading of cattle at animal markets for the purpose of slaughter. Under the rules, cattle includes bulls, bullocks, cows, buffaloes, steers, heifers and calves and camels. The notification is expected to affect export and trade of meat and leather.
Vardhan, who took charge of the Environment Ministry after the demise of Anil Dave, is the second Union minister to hint that the government is reconsidering its order. Earlier, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu had said the government is open to reviewing the order.
The notification faced backlash from a number of states, especially Kerala and Meghalaya, which described it as an ‘infringement’ of the states’ rights. The Kerala Assembly, in a special sitting last week, passed a resolution urging the Centre to withdraw the notification. The House had called it a ‘fascist’ move. The Meghalaya Assembly too, passed a resolution today, opposing the notification, saying it’s “designed to affect” the people of the northeast, and suffers from “serious shortcomings and infirmities” and could have an “adverse impact on economy and culture”. The Madras High Court stayed the order for four week and sought response from the Centre.
(With inputs from agencies)