The Kerala cabinet today decided to convene a special one-day Assembly session on June 8 to discuss issues connected with the Centre’s ban on sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter. “Government will take a final decision what to further do on the matter on the basis of discussion in the house,” Minister for Forest and Animal Husbandry K Raju said at a press conference here. Various options, including approaching the Supreme Court and bringing in a law within the limit of the state were under the consideration of the government, he said.
“However, a final decision will be taken only after considering the views of members in the house”, he said. The CPI(M) led LDF government in Kerala was the first to oppose the notification, holding that “it is an infringement into the state’s right and went against federal principles”. The minister said that the assembly would also pass a resolution against the Centre’s decision.
On reports of tension in Palakkad, bordering neighbouring Tamil Nadu, after some persons allegedly blocked transport of cattle to state, Raju said, “The issue has created tension nationwide, not just in Palakkad”. Under the present circumstances, the best way to end the tension over the cattle issue was to freeze or withdraw the Centre’s notification, Raju added. He said the state was of the view that the notification would adversely affect the meat and dairy sectors, which employs about five lakh people.
Fifteen lakh heads of cattle are brought to Kerala every year and 2.5 lakh tonnes of meat worth Rs 6,552 crore is sold in the state annually.