The government’s opposition on cattle trade rule has reached the Supreme Court and on Thursday, the Supreme Court issued notification to the Centre on banning sale and purchase of cattles at animal markets. Centre has asked to response within two weeks. The matter will be heard next on 11 July. Fahim Qureshi, a lawyer from Hyderabad, moved the top court, saying the notification was unconstitutional and discriminatory as it violated the cattle trader right to free trade. A bench of Justices include Deepak Gupta and Ashok Bhushan is hearing the petition.
The blockage of Animal brutality which is in Regulation of Livestock Markets Rules 2017- issued by the Ministry of Environment and stated that No person shall bring cattle to animal market and on arrival he should have a written declaration signed by the owner of the cattle with the full name and address of the owner of the cattle with photocopy of any one identification proof. The declaration involves the details involving the identification of the cattle stating that the cattle has not brought to market for sale for slaughter.
The petitioner argued that the restrictions placed by the notification are in contrary to the very law under which it has been issued. Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act under section 11, does not categorise slaughter of animals for food as cruelty and it does not accompany pain of animals that they suffer. As from the day it was announced , the notification had protested across the country and the move has an adverse impact on the leather industry. A representative of India’s Muslim Qureshi community of butchers from Uttar Pradesh, Abdul Faheem Qureshi said, last year some markets trade 1,000 animals which was now down to as few as 100.
India is the world’s biggest seller of buffalo with exports that run up to $4 million. Many traders are unhappy with this decision and argue that it is a way to impose “Hindutva” agenda of BJP. Aqil Qureshi, president of the Delhi Buffalo Traders said,” the trading business is dead.” Slaughterhouse run by Welfare Association sells hides to leather companies outside the city. Reuters quoted, ” we will hit the streets and will take legal help. Who does not fight for their livelihood?”
Many leaders have expressed their displeasure with this move of the central government. As a mark of protest two BJP party leaders from Meghalaya resigned. Last month, Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of kerala said he would call all the Chief Ministers for a meeting to emphasising that the ministry cannot impose such rules on individuals. In many States in our country the opposition was also witnessed. As Beef festivals held in many parts of our country, including IIT Madras where many students asserted that the Central government cannot dictate their food habits.
However, The BJP has dismissed all the allegations. Nalin Kohli, the BJP national spokesperson said, “the BJP clearly said that the question of having a law in a state on cow slaughter is to be decided by the state government and not by Central government.” Home Minister Rajnath Singh also said that the centre is not trying to impose any restrictions on people’s choice of food habits.