The Centre on Wednesday said its May 23 notification banning sale and purchase of cattle from markets for slaughter had nothing to with slaughtering business or food habits and assured that representations against the rules were being examined ‘objectively.’ “We do not have even an iota of intention to influence anybody’s food habit in this country. We have nothing to do with the slaughtering business,” Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan told reporters at Kochi on Wednesday.
He was responding to a question on Tuesday’s Supreme Court order extending to the entire country the Madras High Court directive staying the Centre’s notification.
“Whatever representations have come to us, we are examining them, very objectively. The Supreme Court gave us yesterday the time for examining it,” said the minister.
He clarified that the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 was brought to prevent “… cruelty towards animals. It has nothing to do with slaughtering business. It has nothing to do with food habits.”
He said the notification was issued after completing all necessary formalities in a bid to prevent cruelty towards animals and the apprehensions against it was “thoroughly misplaced.”
“There was some unnecessary hue and cry being raised from different quarters. When the law was made, rules were notified, they were put in public domain before that. Draft rules were put in public domain for one month,” he said.
“But when it was notified, there were “different types of apprehension, which I see as thoroughly misplaced … We said if you have something to suggest, please give us. We got some representations and we are examining them,” he added.
The Supreme Court extended the stay on the cattle rules while disposing of a plea by the All India Jamiatul Quresh Action Committee challenging the constitutional validity of the May 23 notification.
It gave the order after the Central government said it was not seeking lifting of the stay and was, rather, looking at it afresh by considering objections and suggestions.