In order to prevent cattle slaughter, the Environment Ministry has banned the sale of cattle from marketplaces for the purpose of culling.
A gazette notification, titled Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change 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.
Notably, the officials in the animal market will have to confirm that the buyer of the cattle is a farmer by checking necessary documents. The notification further adds that the purchaser of the cattle will not sell the animal for the purpose of slaughter. In fact, sacrificing the animal for any religious purpose is also prohibited.
The notification also outlines ‘cattle’ as bovine animals, including bulls, cows, buffaloes, steers, heifers and calves and camels. Animal market is defined as a “marketplace or sale-yard or any other premises or place to which animals are brought from other places and exposed for sale or auction and includes any lairage adjoining a market or a slaughterhouse”.
The set of new norms also restricts the sale of cattle to a person outside a state without taking permission of the laws. Animal markets have also been prohibited from within 25 km of state borders.
Animal protection centres such as gaushalas which are giving up cattle for adoption will have to deliver an affidavit that the animals will be used for agricultural purposes and not for slaughter. In the case of draught and pack animals, they will have to give a similar undertaking.