Non-BJP parties in Kerala fume over new cattle slaughter rules

V Sajeev Kumar Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram/Kochi | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on May 26, 2017


VS Sunil Kumar, State Agriculture Minister, said Kerala will not accept the new Central order — cattle trade regulation is after all a State subject.

Barring the BJP, political parties have come out strongly against the Centre’s move to impose the new Regulation of Livestock Markets Rules, 2017, saying it violates the principles of federalism.

The Centre has banned the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter. According to the notification, the member secretary of an animal market committee will have to ensure that no person brings a young animal to the animal market.

In Kerala, State BJP president Kummanam Rajasekharan said the original intent is to prevent slaughter of cattle stock acquired for agricultural purposes.

It is wrong to attribute the move to other motives based on purely political calculations, he added.

The relevant government order makes it clear that there is no restriction on either owning or rearing cattle for meat or eating beef. Rajasekharan’s colleague and general secretary of the State unit of the party K Surendran welcomed the new rules.

Grand design

Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the Central notification is part of the grand design to implement the larger RSS agenda across the country. It is intended to kill the spirit of unity among diversity, he said.

Lakhs of people in the country are known to consume animal meat, and it is not confined to a few communities either.

The Centre seem to have ignored the fact that animal meat is the source of essential protein to a large population, said Vijayan, adding that the new regulation needs to be opposed by all political parties.

He feared that if this does not come about, and also in good time, the Centre could well proceed to ban the consumption of even fish in the country.

VS Sunil Kumar, State Agriculture Minister, said Kerala will not accept the new Central order — cattle trade regulation is after all a State subject.

KT Jaleel, Minister for Local Self-Government, too aired stiff resistance to the Centre’s proposal. CPI(M) State secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan saw an ‘RSS agenda’ behind the move.

Senior leaders of the Congress in the State, including Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala and MM Hassan, president of the State unit of the party, too have harshly criticised the Centre.

Far-reaching impact

The Centre's decision could also hit the prospects of Kerala-based Meat Products of India (MPI).

The State-owned entity is all set to open a ₹31-crore, high-tech plant at Koothattukulam near Kochi on Saturday, that has the capacity to slaughter 200 animals a day.

“The notification will have a far-reaching impact on the company’s future plans, as 30 per cent of the production requirement comes from cattle and buffaloes,” AS Biju Lal, MPI Managing Director, told BusinessLine.

With the ban coming into effect, there would be restrictions in the availability of animals for slaughter to meet production requirements. MPI normally depends on farmers in Kerala as well as neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

At present, the production of buffalo meet and beef is 20 tonnes per month.

This is expected to go up once the high-tech plant starts operations, he said.

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Published on May 26, 2017
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