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Environment Minister Says Notification on Cattle Sale Will Strengthen States

In a freewheeling conversation with News18's Tushar Dhara and Debayan Roy, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan decoded the intricacies in the new government notification.

Tushar Dhara, Debayan Roy

Updated:May 26, 2017, 10:42 PM IST
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Environment Minister Says Notification on Cattle Sale Will Strengthen States
File photo of Minister of State (Independent Charge) Environment, Forest and Climate Change. (CNN-News18 Photo)

New Delhi: The new rules by the Environment Ministry effectively ban cattle slaughter and place restrictions on the cattle trade. In a conversation with News18's Tushar Dhara and Debayan Roy, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan decoded the intricacies in the new government notification.

Q. Can you clarify what the new notification is all about?

A.The Ministry has notified the prevention of cruelty to animals, regulation of livestock markets, rules 2017. They were put on the website for a long time and suggestions for improvement were sought from the people. Now they have been notified.

The rules are very very clear. The aim of these rules is only to regulate the animal market and sale of cattle in these markets, ensuring the welfare of the cattle dealt in these markets. These rules provide for a district animal market monitoring committee and an animal market committee at the local level.

Under these rules, the seller and the buyer have to ensure that the cattle have not been bought or sold in the market for the purpose of slaughter. That’s very clear, and an undertaking to this effect has to be obtained by the member secretary of the animal market committee, from the seller and the buyer.

Q. Is this a blanket ban on cattle slaughter?

A. How can it be? It is only regulating the market position where the cattle are sold or bought. They have to give an assurance and the market committee has to give an assurance that they are not for slaughtering. This is part of the prevention of cruelty to animals.

Q. If the matter is prevention of cruelty to animals, why just cattle? Why not chickens and goats?

A. For prevention of cruelty, for them also there are definite provisions in the Act. Everything is available in the prevention of cruelty to animals.

Q. Earlier, the government said that it will respect the sentiments of states which, for cultural or dietary reasons, slaughter cattle. Does this notification represent a rethink on the part of the government?

A. Number one, it has nothing to do with any particular state or any particular section of the society. It is simply a rule which is ensuring that the cattle are not sold for the purpose of slaughter. It is a simple case of prevention of cruelty to animals, and it has nothing to do with anything else.

Q. If any state tomorrow says we will not abide by these rules, then what happens?

A. There is a full rule book; everything is interpreted, and we have ensured that this rule is only to strengthen the states. We are strengthening the states to strengthen the movement for prevention of cruelty to animals.

Q. But livestock is a state subject…

A. I don’t think there is any need for any further elaboration, the rule is very very clear and I don’t want to get into a discussion.

Q. There’s a lot of confusion…

A. The confusion is already clarified and I think there is no need for any further clarification.

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