In the wake of stiff opposition from some states, including Kerala, the central government is said to be having a rethink on its order restricting the sale of animals, including cows and buffaloes. The government is likely to exempt buffaloes from the ‘no slaughter’ list, an official said on Monday.
“We have received some representations over the list of animals included (in the new cattle slaughter rules). We are working on it,” A.N. Jha, Secretary in the Union Environment Ministry, told IANS. The Union Environment Ministry on May 26, modified the rules to prevent cruelty to animals, making it mandatory to ensure that cattle are not bought or sold for slaughtering.
The list of animals that cannot be bought or sold for slaughter through cattle markets includes cows, bulls, buffaloes, heifers, calves and camels. However, a day after notifying the modifications, the ministry said that the animals for the purpose of slaughtering could be procured directly from the farmers at their respective farms. After notifying the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules-2017, the ministry clarified that the aim was to regulate the animal market and prevent cruelty to animals.
To ensure the rules are implemented, undertakings would have to be taken in the market by the ‘District Animal Market Monitoring Committee’ at the district level and the ‘Animal Market Committee’ at the local level.
Ever since the notification of the modified rules, there have been widespread protests against the new norms in various states, especially Kerala. Youth Congress activists took to the streets in the state, but caused outrage by publicly slashing the head of an ox during one such protest. The state’s ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist held over 300 “beef festivals” across Kerala where cooked beef was freely served. Kerala is one of the states in the country where cow slaughter is not banned.