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Ban on cattle sale will impose bigger burdens on farmers: CPI (M)

New Delhi [India]: After the Centre announced strict rules to prohibit sale of animals for slaughter or religious sacrifice at livestock markets and animal fairs that are a common occurrence in rural areas, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Saturday stated that by issuing this order, the government is imposing greater burdens on farmers.

“It is an absurd decision because this prohibition which the Centre has now announced includes buffaloes also. Buffaloes, are in agricultural operations also, when they are too old or they cannot discharge the operation, the farmers sell them or exchange them for younger buffaloes. By issuing this order, the Centre is imposing greater burdens on farmers,” CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury told ANI.

“Already, the government has admitted that in last three years more than 12,000 farmers have committed stressed suicides each year. By bringing in such type of order, they are putting more burdens on the farmer community and it is very unfair to India’s annadaata.”

Echoing similar views, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja stated that this decision can have impact on the Centre-state relations.

“It is a major decision taken by the Centre but it has far reaching implications and the Centre should have applied its mind properly before taking such a decision. First, it can have impact on the Centre-state relations. It will be considered as encroachment on the powers of the state governments so state governments will be questioning the Centre’s decision,” Raja told ANI.

Raja further said the government cannot harass or subject the farming community to such ordeals by taking such decisions.

“Secondly, when the Centre takes such a decision, the parliament has to be taken into confidence. The parliament has not been taken into confidence. By passing parliament, undermining it and taking decisions has become the style of the Modi Government. The government cannot harass or subject the farming community to such ordeals by taking such decisions. The government needs to reconsider this decision,” Raja said.

Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Harsh Vardhan yesterday ordered that the ministry has notified the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 to ensure that the sale of cattle is not meant for slaughter purposes.

“Aim of the rules is very specific. It is only to regulate the animal market and the sale of cattle in these markets, and ensuring welfare of cattle dealt in market. And the rule provides for a strict animal monitoring committee and an animal market committee at the local level,” Vardhan told ANI.

He said the seller and buyer both have to ensure that the cattle is not been bought or sold in the market for slaughter purposes.

“An undertaking to this effect has to be given to the member secretary of the animal market committee from the seller as well as the buyer,” Vardhan added.

As per the notification, cattle is defined as “bulls, bullocks, cows, buffalos, steers, heifers and calves and camels”.

The rules also state that the purchaser shall not sacrifice the animal for any religious purpose or sell it to a person outside the state without permission and must keep in with the state’s cattle protection laws. (ANI)