Agri Business

Trade in cattle for slaughter axed

Aesha Datta NEW DELHI | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on May 26, 2017

chart1

Leather, meat export industry, farmers to be hit

Just over a month since Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat sought an all-India law banning cow slaughter, the government appears to have devised a back-door method to achieve this aim.

In a new notification dated May 23, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has made it illegal for farmers and animal traders to sell cattle, which include cows, bulls, buffaloes and even camel, for slaughter in “animal markets” (market for livestock).

The move has far-reaching consequences impacting several industries — meat, leather, food, pharmaceuticals and even transport — and affecting farmers’ financial security. An industry insider estimated that of 6 crore people employed in the transport industry, 1 per cent, or about 6 lakh are involved in moving cattle.

“The rule aims to regulate the animal market and sale of cattle. It strengthens the hands of State governments to prevent animal cruelty,” said Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

The new Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, states, “No person shall bring a cattle to an animal market unless upon arrival he has furnished a written declaration signed by the owner of the cattle or his duly authorised agent… stating that the cattle has not been brought to market for sale for slaughter.”

While the rules, do not make it illegal to sell cattle outside of the animal markets for slaughter, it will become practically impossible to do so, say industry insiders.

“Under these rules no one can slaughter any cattle. If farmers or slaughterhouses have to buy cattle outside of the animal markets, they need all the certificates and paperwork which would be provided at the animal market. It is practically impossible,” said Abdul Faheem Qureshi, President of the Muslim All India Jamiatul Quresh Action Committee, which functions as an association for meat traders.

According to estimates by the US Department of Agriculture, with over 11 lakh tonnes of buffalo meat, India is the biggest carabeef (buffalo meat) exporter. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry estimates the buffalo meat export market at over ₹26,000 crore, which is likely to be hit, as is the estimated $12-billion leather market, of which nearly half is exported.

Rafeeque Ahmed, President of All India Skin and Hide Tanners and Merchants Association, said the move would disrupt an established system where all cattle, including productive and working draft animals and those meant for slaughter, are traded, he added.

The move has left several States on the tenterhooks and farmer unions angry. The Kerala government has indicated that it would take legal action.

According to industry representatives, the notification will hit farmers more than allied industries, including the dairy and leather sectors.

(With inputs from Mamuni Das,

AM Jigeesh, KR Srivats in New Delhi, and R Balaji in Chennai)

Published on May 26, 2017
null
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor