New Rules Do Not Ban Eating or Slaughter of Cattle, Says Kerala HC
A petition filed in the Kerala high court to challenge the central government’s ban on cattle slaughter was, on Wednesday, withdrawn.
Image for representation only. (Getty Images)
New Delhi: A petition filed in the Kerala high court to challenge the central government’s ban on cattle slaughter was, on Wednesday, withdrawn.
Post the withdrawal, a single judge bench of Justice PB Suresh Kumar of the Kerala High Court on Wednesday dismissed the PIL as withdrawn. The petition claimed that the rules were unconstitutional and violated Article 14, 19 and 21.
The court noted that the ban was on sale of cattle for slaughtering at animal markets and that “there was no ban on eating, slaughtering and selling of cattle.” The petitioner himself withdrew the PIL and hence it was dismissed.
The petition was filed by TG Sunil, State general secretary of the Youth Congress who argued that preservation, protection and improvement of stock, prevention of animal diseases, and veterinary training and practice was a state subject. The petition also claimed that the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCAA), under which the rules were made, allowed slaughter of animals for human consumption.
Despite the dismissal, the hearing of the petition will continue later in the day.
The dismissal of the PIL comes close on the heels of an order by the Rajasthan high court where it has observed that cow should be made the national animal and that there should be life imprisonment for anyone slaughtering a cow.
The fact that the PIL was dismissed as withdrawn by the court happened only an hour after the chief minister of the state; Pinarayi Vijayan said that he will write to all the chief ministers of other states to gauge a “common opinion on this issue.”
“More than 6000 crores worth of beef is sold in Kerala every year and almost 5 lakh livelihoods depend on this in Kerala,” said Vijayan.
The new rule, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Market) Rules, 2017, was brought into effect on May 23, by a gazette notification by the Environment Ministry. The rules ban the sale of cattle (bulls, bullocks, cows, buffaloes, steers, heifers, calves and camels) from the animal markers for the purposes of slaughter and such sale was permitted only for agricultural purposes.
Later, when a clarification was sought, the Ministry had stated that the core objective was ushering in the “farm to fork principle” and so that slaughterhouses could source the animals directly from the farms.
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