‘Covert bid by Sangh forces to ban cattle slaughter’

Both the ruling LDF and Opposition UDF in Kerala oppose the new rules

Updated - May 27, 2017 12:49 pm IST

Published - May 27, 2017 12:09 am IST - Thiruvananthapuram

Cattle traders assemble at a monthly market near Mundakayam, in Kerala’s Kottayam district.

Cattle traders assemble at a monthly market near Mundakayam, in Kerala’s Kottayam district.

The notification issued by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) on regulation of livestock markets has ignited an acrimonious political debate in Kerala, with Left parties and the United Democratic Front terming it as a covert attempt by Sangh Parivar forces to impose a nationwide ban on cattle slaughter and the BJP alleging a smear campaign against the government.

Named the Regulation of Livestock Markets Rules 2017, the notification issued under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act stipulates the registration of animal markets and constitution of market committees and sets standards for handling and controlling the animals and monitoring their health.

The controversy centres on the restrictions prescribed on the trade of cattle for slaughter. The rules require the animal market committee to ensure that the animals are sold for agricultural purpose and not for slaughter.

 

Political parties opposed to the BJP see it as an attempt by the Sangh Parivar to impose its divisive agenda.

Terming it as a game plan by the RSS, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the restrictions on the sale and ban on slaughter of cattle would affect the livelihood of lakhs of poor people and deprive them of a source of food. He said the failure to consult States before issuing the notification represented an assault on the federal system. “Who can say that the ban on cattle slaughter would not be followed by a ban on consumption of fish,” he asked.

Minister for Animal Husbandry K. Raju said the decision to ban cattle slaughter was part of the RSS agenda against minorities and would hurt the interests of farmers. He said the curbs prescribed on the transport of cattle would also pose a setback to the efforts by States to increase the cattle population and improve milk production.

CPI(M) State secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the ban on cattle slaughter would lead to communal friction, affect the livelihood of millions and impact on the agricultural economy.

KPCC president M.M. Hassan said the notification was an infringement of fundamental rights and a bid to create polarisation.

Animal rights groups hail notification

Hailing the notification issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change on regulation of animal markets, animal welfare organisations have termed it a historic decision aimed at arresting the decline in bovine population and ensuring food safety.

Welcoming the notification, the Humane Society International, India, and the People for Animals have described it as a step in the right direction.

Gauri Maulekhi, PFA trustee and government affairs liaison for HSI- India, said it would put an end to the cruel handling and deplorable conditions in unregulated live animal markets.

 

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