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Cattle trade ban: Harsh Vardhan assures ‘clarity’ to avoid ‘heartburn’

New Delhi: Amid objection raised by stakeholders against the Centre’s recent order prohibiting sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets, Union Environment and Science Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said his ministry was ‘critically examining’ all the representations to ensure that not even a single person has heartburn on the issue.

“The Supreme Court said what we have been saying for very long. In days to come, we will give an answer to all of this. The order has been misunderstood. We will put a positive action in place to address every concern and ensure that not even a single person has heartburn on the issue,” Harsh Vardhan said the media here.

Meanwhile, animal rights activist, Gauri Mulekhi told ANI the Supreme Court’s refusal to stay the notification passed by the Centre for regulating live stock markets simply stated that the live stock markets meant for agricultural cattle have to be run in a particular manner.

“The SC today refused to stay the notification passed by the Centre for regulating live stock markets. This notification was not meant for stopping or banning or slaughter of any animal which is regulated by other law of the country. This notification simply says that the live stock markets meant for agricultural cattle have to be regulated and run in a particular manner. For the first time in the history of our country have we touched live stock markets with a certain regulation,” she added.

The Supreme Court today issued a notice to the Central government on hearing the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a Hyderabad based Non-Government Organisation (NGO) over cow and cattle slaughter ban issue.

The apex court’s vacation bench, headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and comprising Justice R. K. Agarwal issued notice to the government for July 11.

Additional Solicitor General P.S. Narasimha, appearing for the Centre, told the bench that intention behind bringing the notification was to have a regulatory regime on cattle trade across the country.

He also told the apex court that the Madras High Court had granted interim stay on the notification.

The petitioner NGO had moved the apex court challenging the Centre’s notification that bans sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter, a move that received flak since its announcement.

The petition was filed by a Hyderabad-based lawyer, Fahim Qureshi, stating that the order was discriminatory and unconstitutional, as it prevented cattle traders from earning their livelihood.

On May 25, the Centre through an order imposed a ban on the sale of cattle, including cows, for slaughter and restricted cattle trade solely to farm owners.

Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Harsh Vardhan had 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.

Regulating animal trade is a state business, but animal welfare is a central subject, thereby providing the window for the ministry to notify the rule.

In lieu of this, there was widespread opposition of the order, with many states openly denying accepting the notification.

On June 1, the students of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT- Madras) staged protest against the same.

With the police deployed in front of the IIT campus, the students protested at the main gate and raised slogans against the Centre’s controversial notification. (ANI)