The Centre’s new notification imposing restrictions on cattle trade will cause an “enormous financial burden on farmers, thereby further contributing to the agrarian crisis,’’ Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“I would like to bring to your kind attention that these rules are unconstitutional and will have far-reaching negative impact on the Indian society and economy,’’ Siddaramaiah has stated in a letter dated June 9, seeking repeal of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, which were notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change on May 23.
The new rules will go against the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Preservation Act 1964, which allows the slaughter of animals aged over 12 with permission from an authorised person, the Karnataka CM has stated in the letter.
The new rules also go against provisions of free trade envisaged in Article 301 and 302 of the Constitution by indirectly prohibiting the sale of animals outside the state and they also interfere in a state subject without the consent of the state government, Siddaramaiah has said.
“The said rules suggest constitution of Animal Market Monitoring Committees and Animal Market Committees. This will disturb a well established structure which is already in place under the Karnataka Animal Produce Marketing Regulation Act 1966. This Act provides space for regulation and operation of animal trading through the APMCs situated all over the state. The free trade of cattle among farmers will be badly affected by the said rules,’’ the letter states. A large number of farmers in the country will not be able to produce documents mandated by the new rules and will not be in a position to trade cattle and other animals under the new rules, it states.
“Meat is a key source of protein for poor and ordinary people. It is consumed by people of all faiths and not only by minorities and Dalits. The rules of the government bring in unfair and unnecessary dietary restrictions,’’ Siddaramaiah has stated. Restrictions on the trading of cattle will affect the lives and livelihood of many people in the leather industry and many public sector meat processing units and this “will adversely affect the country’s economy,’’ Siddaramaiah has said.
“The rules should have been introduced after consultations with the states — the failure to consult states hits at the very root of federalism. I request you to consider repealing the rules in the larger interest of farmers and the society,’’ states the CM’s letter to the Prime Minister.