Sale, purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter

The rules direct committees controlling animal markets to "take an undertaking that the animals are bought for agriculture purposes and not for slaughter".

CPI (M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, too, condemned the move and said that it would be met with strong opposition.

"It is strengthening the hand of the government at the state level and also strengthening the movement of prevention of cruelty to animals", the Minister said.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat, last month, had pitched an all-India law against cow slaughter, and had urged cow protection groups to abide by the law while welcoming the cause of protecting cows.

Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said the new rules are very "specific" and aim to regulate animal markets and sale of cattle. Estimates suggest that hundreds of thousands of animals including cows, bulls, buffaloes, horses, goats, sheep, donkeys, camels and birds are transported in deplorable conditions with no access to food, water or rest to be traded at live markets.

"Further, upon sale of cattle, the animal market committee will take an undertaking that the animals are for agricultural purposes and not for slaughter", the notification added.

"Cruel and harmful practices shall be prohibited, namely animal identification methods such as hot branding and cold branding, shearing and painting of horns, bishoping in horses and ear cutting in buffaloes".

He was reacting to reports that the government has put a blanket ban on cattle slaughter.

Meanwhile, BJP's K Surendran welcomed the centre's decision. This means cattle can be sold only to a person who has documents to prove he is an "agriculturist". Farmers will also be hit because they will be deprived of a traditional source of income from selling non-milch and old cattle. The other two copies will remain with the buyer and seller. Movement of cattle outside the state would require prior permission from the authorities. "The rules prohibit the sale of animals for slaughter through the livestock markets so that animals for slaughter could be sought directly from farms, thus ensuring traceability and food safety", he said. Proposed new markets must also submit blueprints to the District Committee prior to being established.

  • Zachary Reyes