Government Modifies Rules On Cattle Sale In Animal Market, Removes Word "Slaughter"
The Centre has modified the rules for the sale of livestock which were introduced last year. The word “slaughter” has been removed. It has also watered down clauses preventing cruelty and rules for markets in border areas, reported The Economic Times. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 created a huge uproar in the country as it banned the sale of all kinds of cattle for slaughter at animal markets across India.
The 2017 rules notified on May 23, 2017, have been replaced with draft rules called Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Animal Markets Rules, 2018.
Modifications in the new rule
The environment ministry has removed the word “slaughter” from the old law. The rules have been reduced to half. The 2017 rules clearly stated that no person can bring an animal to animal markets for slaughter. From this clause, the only thing that has been maintained is “no unfit animal or young animal shall be sold in an animal market.”
The new rules provide for constitution of prevention of cruelty to animals committee which would certify new animal markets, maintain a record of animal sales and ensure good living conditions in markets. They have banned branding of animals, nose cutting and castration.
Critics of the earlier rule said that it meddled in people’s food habits and was opposed by Kerala, West Bengal and North-Eastern states. More importantly, it affected the livelihood of those involved in animal husbandry and cattle sale.
The rules were initially made to stop the illegal smuggling of animals across the borders. “Any committee which has an international border in its jurisdictional area shall ensure that no animal market in its jurisdiction is the source of transport of animals across any international border except in accordance with the Transport of Animals Rules 1978 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Transport of Animals on Foot) Rules 2001.”
Criticism of the new rules
Four clauses that talk about how animals should be kept in enclosures (more space and other rules of penning) have been removed in the new modification. A detailed discussion of how they should be given water and food has also been condensed.
Animal rights activists have criticised the new rules. N Jayasimha, a lawyer involved in the framing of the earlier draft rules, said,
“Checks introduced in the 2017 rules on animal cruelty have been watered down. The ministry had to address the clauses that had been stayed by the Supreme Court. But they have completely watered down the entire set of rules. There is no mention of inter-state trade of cattle. One of the main reasons for framing 2017 rules was the Supreme Court order to prevent illegal trade of cattle and cruel sacrifice of animals in Gadhimai festival. But the new rules seem weak and far from achieving this objective.”