Centre allays fear of beef ban

New rule not to regulate slaughter houses

SHILLONG: The Centre has clarified that the prime focus of the rules related to cattle is to protect the animals from cruelty and not to regulate the existing trade in cattle for slaughter houses.
In a statement issued to the media, the PIB quoting the environment ministry said the rules on Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Market) are to ensure welfare of animals and protect animals from cruelty.
According to the statement, some representations have been received on Saturday regarding certain provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Market) Rules, 2017.
“The livestock markets are intended to become hubs for trade of animal for agriculture through this process and animals for slaughter will have to be bought from farmers at the farms,” the statement said.
According to the Centre, the notified rules will remove the scope of illegal sale and smuggling of the cattle, which is a major concern.
The specific provisions apply only to animals which are bought and sold in the notified livestock markets and animals that are seized as case properties. These rules do not cover other areas, the statement added.
The Centre said the basic purpose of the rule is to ensure welfare of animals in the cattle market and ensure adequate facilities for housing, feeding, feed storage area, water supply, water troughs, ramps, enclosures for sick animals, veterinary care and proper drainage and others.
“To facilitate this, two committees have been constituted, namely the District Animal Market Monitoring Committee for registration of animal market and Animal Market Committee at the local authority level for management of the markets,” the statement said.
According to the statement, it is envisaged that welfare of cattle dealt in the market will be ensured and that only healthy animals are traded for agriculture purposes.
The Centre recalled that in the case before the Supreme Court of India in W.P. (Civil) No. 881 of 2014 filed by Gauri Maulekhi versus Union of India and others, the Apex Court passed an order on July 13, 2015, to frame guidelines to prevent animals from being smuggled out of India for the Gadhimai Festival held in Nepal where large scale animals sacrifices took place.
The Supreme Court had constituted a Committee under the Chairmanship of DG, Sahastra Seema Bal (SSB), and some suggestions were made by them, including measures to curb trans-boundary smuggling of cattle. The court also inter alia directed that rules with regard to livestock market and case property animals also be notified.
On July 12, 2016, the Supreme Court by way of a final order directed this Ministry to frame rules under Section 38 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 1960.
The Animal Welfare Board of India prepared the draft rules incorporating all the suggestions made by the Supreme Court for the case.
The draft Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017, was notified on January 16, 2017, inviting objections and suggestions from all persons likely to be affected by it within 30 days.
As many as 13 representations were received regarding the rules and they were duly examined and incorporated wherever found suitable and the rules were finally notified on May 23, the Centre said.
The representations received will be duly examined in the Ministry, the statement said.

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