Cow Slaughter Ban – UPSC GS1

Facts:
  • Article 48 of our Constitution is for the preservation of milch animals, and for cattle that are suitable for breeding or agricultural purposes.
  • Cattle is a state subject.
  • 28 people were killed in 63 such incidents from 2010 to 2017 in cow vigilantism.
Why in news?
Gujarat government has passed a bill with harsher punishment and higher penalties to prevent Cow Slaughter.
Negatives of Ban:
  • Ban on slaughter means the farmer will have to pay for their upkeep.
  • Entire chain of leather industry will be affected.
  • 2.5 million people, majority of them SC, are employed in the industry.
Ban on sale of cattle for slaughter:
  • The Ministry of Environment and Forests have come up with new regulations that bans the sale of cattle for slaughter.
  • The rules have been notified under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960.
    The Rule applies to the whole of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Cattle cannot be brought to an animal market for sale for slaughter.
  • Animal Market consists of: Marketplaces where animals are brought from other places for sale or auction. It includes animal fairs, or areas adjoining a market or a slaughterhouse.
  • Cattle as defined: A bovine animal including bulls, bullocks, cows, buffalos, steers, heifers and calves and includes camels.
  • All existing animal markets will have to be registered within three months with the District Animal Market Monitoring Committee by making an application to the Committee.
    Across India, the cattle trade is permitted only among farm land owners.
  • Cattle can be only sold to a person possessing documents that he is an agriculturist.
  • As per the new regulations, cattle bought cannot be resold within six months.
  • Young and unfit animals cannot be traded.
  • Animal markets cannot be set up within 50 km of an international border and 25 km of a state border.
  • Transporting cattle outside of the country will require special approval of the state government nominee.
  • All animal markets has to run with the approval of district animal market committee to be headed by a magistrate.
  • The committee will also have two representatives from government-approved animal welfare groups.
  • The new regulations prescribes around 30 norms for animal welfare in markets like that of water, fans, bedding, ramps, non-slippery flooring, veterinary facility and separate enclosure for sick animals etc.
  • The owner of the animal has to bear the cost of its upkeep in a shelter. In case, the owner is unable to pay, the cost would be recovered as land arrears. The state government will specify the costs every year on April 1.
  • The new rules apply only to animal markets and not to individual cattle buying and selling by people.
Criticism:
  • The new regulations says that cattle bought cannot be resold for six months. This provision will hurt the business of cattle traders.
  • The new rules have introduced a lot of paperwork for cattle traders who are predominantly illiterate and poor.
  • It is feared that the new rules will introduce inspector raj as it mandates veterinary inspector to certify proper loading and unloading of animals. He can also mark any animal unfit for sale.
In following image, states marked RED do not allow cow slaughter.