The new rule will have a major impact on cow slaughter
Muslim cattle traders will be worst affected
Besides cows, camels also cannot be sold for slaughtering
At animal markets across India you cannot buy or sell cattle, including cows, for slaughtering purposes. The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has notified new rules under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, which bans sale of cattle for slaughter in open markets across the country.
A gazette notification, titled Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 by the ministry states that no one can bring cattle to an animal market unless he or she has furnished a written declaration that the cattle will not be sold for the purpose of slaughter.
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 is likely to have a major impact on cattle slaughter across the country – even though it does not itself ban slaughter.
It requires cattle trade at animal markets to only take place for agricultural purposes.
Cattle, under the new rules, includes bulls, bullocks, cows, buffaloes, steers, heifers, calves and camels.
Cattle buyers will now have to give an undertaking that the animals are not for slaughter and the market committees will have to check the buyers’ credentials and keep records of sale. The records should be preserved for six months, said the government notification which is effective from today.
The new rule also says cattle buyers cannot sell the animals outside the state without permission.
RESTRICTIONS ON SALE OF CATTLE
According to the rules, the member secretary of the animal market committee shall ensure that no person shall bring a young animal to an animal market. They will also keep a record of name and address of the purchaser and procure his identity proof.
Another task will be to verify that the purchaser is an agriculturist by seeing the relevant revenue document.
The rules make it clear that the purchaser cannot sacrifice the animal for any religious purpose. Such cattle cannot be sold to a person outside the state without the permission as per the state cattle protection or preservation laws.
Experts say the rules will hurt mostly Muslim traders who face mounting violence by increasingly assertive cow vigilante groups. Farmers will also be hit because they will be deprived of a traditional source of income from selling non-milch and old cattle. Farmers who can’t take care of their cattle will have to pay for their upkeep in shelters.
To be implemented in the next three months, the move introduces lots of paperwork for cow traders who are mostly poor and illiterate. For instance, before the trade, both seller and buyer will have to produce identity and farmland ownership documents.
After buying a cow, a trader must make five copies of proof of sale and submit them at the local revenue office, the local veterinary doctor in the district of the purchaser, animal market committee, apart from one each for seller and buyer.