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Open to review of cattle slaughter notice: Harsh Vardhan

Harsh Vardhan.  

The government on Sunday said it was open to suggestions from various groups on the May 23 cattle slaughter notification and was not viewing it as a prestige issue.

Speaking to reporters here, Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said the intention behind the notification was not to harm any particular group, influence food habits or affect the slaughter business.

“Suggestions that have been submitted will be reviewed. It is not a prestige issue for the government,” the Minister told the media on the sidelines of a function to mark World Environment Day.

Mr Vardhan was asked if these representations were being reviewed and if the government was open to considering alternative views.

The row over cattle trade curbs sparked a nationwide controversy with protests in several States, including Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee described the ban as unconstitutional and said her government would not accept it.

On May 30, the Madras High Court had stayed for four weeks the enforcement of the contentious notification banning sale and purchase of cattle at animal markets for slaughter.

The order had come on a petition challenging the bar as inimical to personal liberty, people’s rights to livelihood and an encroachment into matters that are within the domain of the States.

Mr Vardhan said, “Rules under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, are not to influence food habits, or affect slaughtering business.”

After announcement of the ban under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, the Environment Ministry has received several representations, asking the government to consider alternative views, he said.

The decision is expected to hit exports and trade in meat and leather.

The rules define cattle as a bovine animal including bulls, bullocks, cows, buffaloes, steers, heifers and calves and camels.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had earlier said the ban had nothing to do with State laws on cow slaughter and concern only with the place of sale.

Protests have been held in several parts of Tamil Nadu including Madurai, Coimbatore, Erode and Hosur. Several activists of a little known Tamil group were detained in Madurai where they had organised a beef-eating contest.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2020 7:03:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/open-to-review-of-cattle-slaughter-notice-harsh-vardhan/article18718602.ece

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