The National Green Tribunal on Monday sought response from all the state governments on a plea filed by a lawyer seeking nationwide ban on slaughter of indigenous breeds of cattle.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, which made all the states parties in the case, issued notices to them, National Bio Diversity Authority and sought their reply by February 2, the next date of hearing.
“We direct impleadment of states…Issue notice to all the states,” the court said.
The direction came during the hearing of a petition filed by advocate and environment activist Ashwini Kumar, who approached the green panel against the looming threat of extinction of indigenous breeds of cattle in the country.
In his plea, Kumar has said that several breeds of indigenous cattle in the country are declining at a rapid pace as they are becoming uneconomical due to mechanization in agriculture.
Claiming a steep decline in the indigenous cow population across the country, Kumar has contended that Indian cattle was being replaced across the country by exotic and cross- bred cows imported from Europe, Australia and the US.
“Even developed countries are taking steps to preserve diversity in livestock and taking substantial steps to preserve and conserve their domestic livestock species,” the plea said, adding “the government authorities at the national, state, and local levels were silent spectators to this destruction”.
Highlighting the need for indigenous breed of cattle, he said they have better disease-resistance power and could adapt themselves better to frequent weather changes and climatic disturbances.
“Direct respondents to take necessary steps to ensure that milch cattle of indigenous breeds are not slaughtered; and take necessary steps to carry out research in improving their milk yield without resorting to cross-breeding,” the plea said.
The green panel had last year issued notice to the Agriculture Ministry in the matter.