On Tuesday, the Apex Court ruled that the Madras High Court order of putting Centre’s cattle trade rule on hold will cover the entire country. The Madras high court order had put on hold the Centre’s notification banning sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter, a decision which drew sharp criticism.
The Narendra Modi government on May 25 banned sale of cattle, including cows, for slaughter and restricted cattle trade to farm owners. This move, in turn, hit poor farmers and squeezed supplies to the country’s Rs 1 lakh-crore meat industry. The Supreme Court said today that the livelihoods of many can’t be subjected to uncertainties. Further adding that the cattle trade rules, which several states refused to implement, would not come into effect. It will renotify the rules by the end of August after considering the objections.
There have been huge protests against the cattle trade rule in various states in the south and the northeast, where beef is a staple. The Chief Ministers of Bengal and Kerala had also said they were contemplating legal action against the rule. The Centre had said the intention of the rule was not to interfere with food preferences. It was framed to address the larger issue of cruelty to animals.
The move to ban cattle trade and slaughter was heavily criticised by the opposition. And after several petitions, the Madras high court on May 30 stayed the notification, which was challenged for violating an individual’s right to choice of food.