Kerala’s CPM government on Wednesday decided to convene a meeting of chief ministers against the Centre’s notification banning sale of cattle for slaughter as it “infringes upon the federal system of the country’’. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the state Cabinet will have a special meeting on Thursday to discuss the issue. “The Cabinet would meet on Thursday to decide on the legal course of action.
The government would convene a special session of the assembly and also a meeting of chief ministers of all states,’’ he said. Vijayan said that the issue of restrictions on cattle slaughter does not fall within Parliament’s legislative powers.
“It rests with the powers of the state governments. That is why cow slaughter ban prevails in certain states and the same does not exist in other states,” he said. He said that the state will move court challenging the notification. Vijayan said that the encroachment of the Centre upon the power of the state is a violation of the federal principles.
“Under the guise of the rule to prevent cruelty towards animals, the Union government’s notification is a violation of the fundamental right to freedom of work. The notification has included a lot of illegal clauses.’’ Vijayan said that the notification will adversely affect the state’s milk production and meat industry. He added that the state Cabinet is of the opinion that the legality of this rule could be questioned. “The state would seek the opinion of legal experts in this regard,’’ he said. Annually, 15 lakh cattle are transported to Kerala, where the annual turnover of meat business is Rs 6,552 crore.