Law itself allows cattle slaughter, SC tells govt.

‘But cruelty to animals not regulated’

August 11, 2017 10:38 pm | Updated 10:38 pm IST - NEW DELHI

If slaughtering cattle for food or religious sacrifice is allowed under the Prevention of Cruelty Act, why did the government ban the sale of cattle for these purposes in the new livestock market rules, the Supreme Court asked the Centre on Friday.

A Bench of Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud pointed out that the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960 allowed slaughter for food and religious sacrifices.

On the other hand, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (Regulation of Livestock Market) Rules of 2017 require a person coming to the market to give a written undertaking that he will not sell his cattle for slaughter.

“How can you [the Centre] insist that a person should give a written undertaking that he is not bringing cattle to the market for sale for slaughter? This is an interference of his fundamental right to carry on trade, protected under the Prevention of Cruelty Act,” Justice D.Y. Chandrachud told the government.

Confirms HC order

The Bench confirmed the order of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court staying certain provisions of the livestock rules banning sale or purchase of cattle in markets for slaughter and religious sacrifices. It, however, clarified that there was no stay on the implementation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Act of 2017.

Disposing of the pleas challenging the rules, the court gave liberty to petitioners to approach it in case of grievance about the fresh rules the government proposes to notify soon.

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