Madras High Court stays rules on cattle trade

01 June, 2017, 00:53 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Protest against cattle slaughter ban outside IIT Madras

After the Centre government ban on the sale of cows to slaughter in the animal market, this rule has affected the animal market volume hugely.

The Kerala government on Wednesday made a decision to convene a meeting of all chief ministers to discuss the Centre's ban on sale of cattle at animal markets for slaughter.

The interim order effectively stops operation of Rule 22 (b) (iii) and Rule 22 (e) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulations of Live Stock Markets) Rules 2017.

However, a day after notifying the modifications, the ministry said that the animals for the goal of slaughtering could be procured directly from the farmers at their respective farms.

After being rejected by Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, the West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee today too rejected the ban on trade of cattle for slaughter, calling it "undemocratic and unconstitutional"; and accusing the Centre of attempting to destroy the federal structure of the country.

Vijayan further said that the Centre's new rule is an impermissible encroachment into the domain of the State Legislatures which is a clear 'violation of the spirit of federalism'.

The rules on preventing cruelty to animals fall under the concurrent list, meaning that both the State and Centre have a say on the issue.


The judges said a delegated power to legislate by making rules, for carrying out the purposes of the Act, was general in nature, without laying any guidelines.

In the wake of the backlash, environment minister Harsh Vardhan directed officials to consider amending the rules to remove buffalo from the definition of cattle, signifying that sale of buffalo for slaughter would be allowed through animal markets.

The petitioners contended that since the notification was related to food, it should have been approved by Parliament.

The developments came on a day the Kerala High Court saw no reason to interfere with the central government norms, and the Rajasthan High Court suggested life imprisonment for cow slaughter.

"If people are not able to sell their cattle how will they take care of livestock when it turns unnecessary for them?" Meanwhile, Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu said in New Delhi the government was examining the issues raised by states and trade organisations against the ban.

The court observed that there is no blanket ban on slaughtering the cattle or consuming the meat. It came before Chief Justice Navniti Prasad, who said that nothing has been banned as is being spoken about now. In a hearing at the Madras High Court, which stayed the ban for four weeks, one could hear petitioners giving out reasons, justifying the stay on the ban and a following reconsideration.

"There is a constitutional bench in the Supreme Court".

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