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Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals must to regulate cattle markets

NAGPUR: In the absence of Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in the districts of Vidarbha, the new rules announced by the environment ministry banning sale of cattle for slaughter at markets cannot be implemented in full force.

The rules, called the Regulation of Livestock Market Rules, which are framed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act of 1960, bans sale of cows and buffaloes for slaughtering through animal markets.

It further mandates constitution of a district animal market monitoring committee headed by district collector for regulation of animal markets. Another animal market committee for the managements of animal markets in the district is also compulsory.

In both the committees, representation of SPCA is a must. But since there are no SPCAs in the region, these committees cannot be constituted until the society is formed.

The ministry has simultaneously issued Care and Maintenance of Case Property Animals Rules under PCA Act. Under these rules too, SPCA members have been given important roles like having custody of the seized animals and taking undertaking that the adopted cattle is used only for agricultural purposes and not slaughtering.

Though pinjrapoles and gaushalas can also do the job, they are already over-burdened and are poorly managed in the region. “In such a situation, constituting SPCA is the only realistic option to ensure that the new rules are implemented,” said animal activist Ankita Shah.

TOI has been repeatedly reporting that even after 17 years of Central government’s order, SPCA has not been formed in the districts of the region. TOI has reliably learnt that BJP MP Poonam Mahajan, who has been appointed as the chairperson of state animal welfare board, is likely to issue directives for formation of SPCA in every district of the state.

In March, the state government had also issued a notification to set-up the society in every district. As per the rules, the district collector will be the chairperson of the 15-member body.

On Saturday, Shah wrote to district collector Sachin Kurve and municipal commissioner Ashwin Mudgal, urging them to expedite effective implementation of the rules. She added that the local authorities should immediately prepare a list of animal markets operating in the region.

According to activists of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), there are over 50 cattle markets in different villages of the region. “The biggest cattle markets are held at Kalamna, Bhandara and Khapa on Thursdays and Sundays,” said member Jitu Kundwani.

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Date : 20 May 2017

New cattle rules will help farmers: Animal Welfare Board of India

NAGPUR: The environment ministry has framed new rules for regulating animal markets and banning sale of cattle for slaughtering through these markets. Though the new rules are expected to hit the farmers hard, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) states that they will be benefited in the long-run.

Board member NG Jayasimha, who was also a part of the legal sub-committee of AWBI, said, “The rules will not only curb illegal slaughtering and smuggling of cattle but also help the farmers monetarily.”

After the cattle become unproductive, farmers sell them in animal markets to reduce their economic burden. Most of the buyers in such markets are butchers.

In states where cow slaughter is allowed, farmers will not be dependent on middlemen for selling their cattle, said Jayasimha. “Most of the times, farmers would be under pressure from butchers to sell the animals in low prices. But now as markets cannot be used for selling cattle for slaughtering, states can fix a standard price.”

He added that the farmers had to bear the cost of transportation of animals too.

Commenting on the states where cow and bull slaughter is banned, he said that selling bovines was anyway illegal. “Now the government can look at other ways to help the farmers, like setting-up dry dairies,” he said.

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Date : 29 May 2017

Govt says rules to protect animals, will consider suggestions

Representative ImageOpening a small window for negotiation, the Centre on Saturday said the focus of the rules under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act was to protect beasts from cruelty and not to regulate the trade in cattle for slaughter houses. The government also said it was willing to get representations against certain provisions of the rules and these would be examined by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests. On May 23, the ministry notified rules under the Act, banning the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter. Those purchasing animals at these markets would have to provide an undertaking that these would not be slaughtered.

This created a hullabaloo all over the country with the Opposition slamming the move and Pinarayi Vijayan, the chief minister of Kerala where beef is very popular, shooting off a letter to the prime minister demanding a roll-back.

Traders were happy with the Centre’s stance on Saturday.

“This is a welcome move. We had met the minister for environment and forests urging him to reconsider the notification or else we would have to close down our business. Let’s see what happens finally,” D B Sabharwal, secretary-general of All India Meat and Livestock Exporters Association, told Business Standard.

He said the banning the purchase and sale of cattle from animal markets for slaughter would effectively stop India’s exports for buffalo meat, as more than 90 per cent of buffaloes were purchased from such markets.

In its statement on Saturday, the government also said, “The notified rules will remove the scope of illegal sale and smuggling of the cattle which is a major concern. It is envisaged that welfare of cattle dealt in the market will be ensured and that only healthy animals are traded for agriculture purposes for the benefits of the farmers.”

On 13 July 2015, the Supreme Court had directed the government to frame rules so that animals were not smuggled out of India to Nepal for the Gadhimai festival, where large-scale animal sacrifices took place. The court had also constituted a committee with the director general of the Sashastra Seema Bal.

After a final order of the court on 12 July 2016, the Animal Welfare Board had prepared the draft rules, incorporating all the suggestions of the court. The draft rules were put in the public domain on 16 January this year, inviting comments and objections within 30 days.

“Thirteen representations were received… These were duly examined and incorporated, wherever found suitable,” the government said.

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Date : 29 May 2017

SDPI takes strong exception to Centre’s ban on sale of bovines at animal markets

New Delhi, 27 May 2017: The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) has taken strong exception to the Central Government’s notification banning the sale of cows and buffaloes for slaughter at animal markets across India while allowing only farmland owners to trade at animal markets. The notification covers bulls, bullocks, cows, buffaloes, steers, heifers and calves, as well as the camel trade.

SDPI National President A. Sayeed in a press statement said that this unwise move of the NDA Government will crimp supplies to India’s Rs.1 lakh crore meat industry which sources about 90% of its requirement from animal markets. The rest comes for licensed breeders.

Sayeed expressed the apprehension that the expanding protection for bovines is a proxy war against Dalits and Muslims – as exemplified by the lynching of dairy farmer Pehlu Khan in Rajasthan in April or the flogging of Dalit men in Gujarat’s Una last year. He said the new rules will hurt the mostly Muslim meat and leather traders who face mounting violence by increasingly assertive cow vigilante groups. Farmers will also be hit because they will be deprived of a traditional source of income from selling non-milch and ageing cattle. The farmers of this country will be more prone to bear the brunt of this senseless move of the BJP government which will push them into more trouble and burden.

He said what would a cow breeder or a poor farmer do once the animal has lived its shelf life?? Let it rot in its stables or fields or send it to PMO? This will certainly mark the death of the dairy industry in India, which was built up so well by dedicated bureaucrats and governments over the last 70 years. This move of the BJP government at Center is anti-democratic and anti-farmer and also implementing the hidden agenda of RSS to make India into a vegetarian country, he added. Sayeed stated that this blanket ban of sale of bovines is also another conspiracy to obstruct religious ritual of Muslims during Bakried namely ‘Qurbani’ and such a meddling and violent trespassing during Bakried is widespread in the country.

Sayeed pointed out that there are lot of issues the government has to address seriously viz. poverty, education, health, etc. The government can leave the matter to status quo. There is no point stirring a hornet’s nest. Then what to do with aged cows? Meat export will be hit and country’s income will suffer. Thousands of people will be thrown out of job. There will be scarcity of food too, he added.

The statement said that let individual states decide. If the people of a state want to have such laws, let the state institute the law. If a state wants, it can have even stricter laws. Who is the Central government to dictate to the states?

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Date : 29 May 2017

Kerala: SFI protests against cattle slaughter ban by eating beef

Kerala [India], May 27, (ANI): Students’ Federation of India (SFI) on Saturday staged a protest in Kerala against ban on the sales of cattle for slaughter by eating beef outside University College, Trivandrum.

Similar fest was also organised at different locations across Kerala. After the Centre announced strict rules prohibiting sale of animals for slaughter or religious sacrifice at livestock markets and animal fairs, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) earlier in the day 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’,” he added.
The decision did not go down well with Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, who termed the move as ‘illogical’.
“The government cannot decide the choice of our food. The decision seems illogical. The state government will look into it and see if anything can be done legally,” Isaac told media.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the Centre’s decision was surprising which was unsuitable for a democratic nation.
However, welcoming the Centre’s decision, Union Minister Maneka Gandhi said the step is laudable and has been taken ‘in the interest of farmers.’

‘Haat’ (animal market) were started for farmers so that the farmer could sell their cattle to another farmer. So if I have a cow and a calf and I don’t want to keep the calf then I can sell it in the haat to the farmers. This mechanism was only for the farmer. Since last 15 years it has become only for slaughters. Slaughters have started purchasing the cattle from the haat. The slaughters used to purchase 80 to 90 cattle and carry it in their truck pretending as farmers. The farmers faced heavy loss because of this because they can pay Rs.4000 to Rs.5000 for the cattle while the slaughters are ready to pay Rs. 20000,” Maneka told media.

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 being 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)

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Date : 29 May 2017

New rules would help plug gap of regulate animal markets

An animal protection body today said there was no process earlier to regulate animal markets but the new rules on cattle slaughter would help plug that gap. Animal Equality which conducted a nationwide study of cattle markets also “exposed” the “horrific” cruelty inflicted on cattle in them. The Ministry of Environment and Forests notified the stringent Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 on May 25, banning the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter.

“All these cruel practices are illegal as per the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 but there was no process in place to regulate these markets and hold them accountable. With these rules now this gap has been filled,” said Amruta Ubale, executive director of Animal Equality. The studies conducted by Animal Equality said shocking cruelties were inflicted on dairy animals across India.

It said that animals which were no longer of use to the dairy industry were sold for meat through cattle markets. The organisation visited eight cattle markets in seven states, including Chikaguda cattle market in Secunderabad, Pollachi cattle market in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu and Masouli cattle market in Uttar Pradesh among others. The findings from Animal Equality’s cattle market study mentioned some standard practices in cattle markets across the country.

It said cattle markets meant for the sale of agricultural bulls and dairy animals often facilitate the sale of unproductive dairy animals and newborn male calves for slaughter. It claimed that at the cattle market, the animals were not given any food, water or shelter while some were seen without horns indicating that they were dehorned, and with branding marks on their face and body.
“Dead bodies and faces of calves were stuffed with hay and used to lure female cows and buffaloes who were unwilling to move due to the distress caused from separation from their offspring,” the study claimed.

“The handlers prod the animals with sticks or fingers, rub chilly powder in their eyes, twist break the tails and drag them by their tails and nose ropes while loading them onto the truck,” it claimed.

It said animals were seen bleeding from their genitals due to prodding while calves and weak or diseased adult animals were dragged and thrown into the truck. The government’s ban on sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter is expected to hit export and trade of meat and leather. The government has also prohibited practices that are cruel to animals including painting of horns and putting ornaments or decorative materials on them. The body claimed that the Supreme Court directed the government to draft these new rules after a petition was filed.

Following this, Animal Equality presented the environment ministry and the animal husbandry department with a study showing the cruel and illegal treatment of cattle at markets. It also provided a list of recommendations, which were forwarded to the Animal Welfare Board of India who framed and recommended the rules to the government.

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Date : 29 May 2017

Slaughter animals to be bought from farms: Centre

NEW DELHI: While ban on sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets being criticized by various groups, the Centre Saturday said that animal for slaughter will have to be bought from the farmers at the farms and the livestock markets are intended to become hubs for trade for animal for agriculture through this process.

The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) said that it has received some representations regarding certain provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Market) Rules, 2017.

“The notified rules will remove the scope of illegal sale and smuggling of the cattle which is a major concern. The specific provisions apply only to animals which are bought and sold in the notified live stock markets and animals that are seized as case properties. These rules do not cover other areas,” said a statement issued by the ministry.

The ministry further said that the prime focus of the regulation is to protect the animals from cruelty and not to regulate the existing trade in cattle for slaughter houses.

“It is envisaged that welfare of cattle dealt in the market will be ensured and that only healthy animals are traded for agriculture purposes for the benefits of the farmers,” it said.

To facilitate this, two Committees have been constituted, namely the District Animal Market Monitoring Committee for registration of animal market and Animal Market Committee at the local authority level for management of the markets.

India being world’s largest beef exporter, the new regulations are expected to have an adverse impact on the meat industry. Livestock market rules will regulate all of India’s live animal markets. Some of the largest cattle markets are hosted by Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh every year.

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Date : 29 May 2017

India’s Muslim meat traders plan legal action over new rules

Indian meat traders plan to take the government to court over new rules banning the trading of cattle including buffalo for slaughter, calling it a move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration to hurt the business run mainly by Muslims.

The environment ministry said this week that animal markets will only be able to trade in cattle meant for agricultural purposes, the biggest blow yet for meat suppliers facing several reverses under Modi’s three-year old Hindu nationalist government.

The slaughter of cows, considered holy in Hinduism, is banned in most Indian states and laws on the issue have become more stringent over the past few years. Muslims, who make up 14 percent of India’s 1.3 billion people, dominate the Indian meat industry.

India is the biggest seller of buffalo meat in the world, with exports of more than $4 billion a year to countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia and Egypt.

But that could change following the government’s May 23 notification regarding changes to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, made public on Friday. It requires owners to declare that cattle have not “been brought to market for sale for slaughter” and for market committees to verify that the buyer is an “agriculturist by seeing the relevant revenue document”.

The new rules define cattle as bulls, cows, buffalo, steers, heifers, calves and camels.

“The business is dead,” said Aqil Qureshi, president of the Delhi Buffalo Traders’ Welfare Association who runs a slaughterhouse outside the city and sells hides to leather companies. “We will take legal help, we will hit the streets. Who does not fight for their livelihood?”

The environment ministry said in a statement on Saturday that the regulation was to protect “animals from cruelty and not to regulate the existing trade in cattle for slaughter houses”. Animals for slaughter will have to be bought from farmers directly, it said.

Abdul Faheem Qureshi, a lawyer in the southern city of Hyderabad and head of the All India Jamiatul Quresh Action Committee, said direct buying was “not always practical” and that he was drafting a court appeal after meeting with many of his “shocked” trader clients.

Al Faheem Meatex, an exporter in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, said buying buffalo directly from farmers was likely to raise costs, given stringent norms on cattle transportation.

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“It will raise costs for us but what else can we do?” the company said. “We will see if we can get some relief from the court.”

Qureshi said the new law would only embolden cow vigilantism groups. Muslims have been assaulted by Hindu hardliners over the past few years on suspicion of eating beef or illegally transporting cattle.

GVL Narasimha Rao, a spokesman for Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, had no immediate comment. Government spokesman Frank Noronha did not respond to requests for comment.

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Date : 29 May 2017

CPI-M slams government over ban on selling animals for slaughter

New Delhi, May 27 (IANS) The CPI-M on Saturday termed the Environment Ministry’s ban of sale of cattle for slaughter an attempt to provide a “legal cover” to its communal agenda, and demanded the notification’s withdrawal.

“The notification of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change that bans sale of cattle for slaughter is an atrocious attempt by the Modi government to give legal cover for its wholly communal and divisive agenda to impose a diet code on the country,” the Communist Party of India-Marxist politburo said in a statement.

It said that the decision will destroy the livelihood of crores of farmers involved in animal husbandry, eliminate traditional cattle fairs, and put an unfair burden on farmers to care for useless cattle.A

“This further burdens the farmers who are increasingly resorting to distress suicides due to escalating input costs. It will also impact on the leather industry and the meat export industry affecting the livelihood of lakhs of people.

“The notification is also an encroachment on the rights of the states under whose jurisdiction such issues fall. The CPI-M strongly condemns and opposes the notification and demands its withdrawal,” the statement said.

The Union Environment Ministry on Friday notified the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules-2017, making it mandatory to ensure the cattle are not bought or sold with a purpose of slaughtering, saying the aim is to regulate the livestock market and prevent cruelty.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.

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Date : 29 May 2017

Meat curbs shadow on milk supply – Move anti-farmer because it makes cattle rearing tougher, say meat sellers; Violates right to food, says Left

New Delhi, May 26: The government’s ban on cattle and buffalo sales for slaughter in animal markets will hurt not just meat sellers but also farmers across communities and could spark a milk shortage, meat dealers today said.

“This is a very impractical move. It is totally anti-farmer,” said Yusuf Quraishi, president of the Uttar Pradesh unit of the All India Jamiat-ul-Quraish. Most of those engaged in slaughtering animals are Muslims from the Quraishi caste.

“Usually, a farmer who owns a cow or a buffalo sells them only when he is sure that he cannot get a drop of milk out of them. No one sells a milch animal,” Quraishi said.

“When an animal stops giving milk, the farmer sells it at an animal market and uses the money to buy a new milch animal. This cycle has existed down the ages and the government has disrupted that. This will break the farmers’ backs.”

Asked why farmers could not sell their old animals directly to abattoirs instead of going to the animal markets, Quraishi said that it would, for one thing, add to the farmers’ costs.

“Till now he could buy and sell at one venue; now he will have to make two separate trips. As it is, transporting bovine animals has become a risky business because of the vigilantes. Now, the farmer will be twice exposed.”

Salim, a meat seller in Delhi, said the ban would affect not just the meat industry but also milk as many farmers were already having second thoughts about continuing to rear cattle.

This is true not just of farmers from the minority community, he said, but also of those from the majority religion as cow rearing has become a hazardous occupation.

Noida residents have been complaining about their milkmen raising the price of milk by Rs 8 to Rs 10 per litre as soon as Yogi Adityanath took charge as Uttar Pradesh chief minister.

The reasons the milkmen are citing are: one, rearing cattle has become more expensive as the value of the old animals has collapsed; two, the risks involved if the cow gets injured have risen; three, chaara (fodder) prices have shot up.

Quraishi cited an instance of a farmer actually seeking police protection to take his ailing cow to the vet for fear of the cow vigilantes.

“All this is becoming a deterrent to rearing cows and other bovine animals. The gau rakshaks often attack at the sight of anything that looks like cattle,” he said.

“And, if old non-productive animals are not allowed to be slaughtered or if slaughtering them is made difficult, can you imagine the strain there will be on fodder?”

Quraishi added, echoing Salim: “With rapid urbanisation, grazing grounds have become harder to come by; so the farmer must spend money to buy fodder for his milch animals and the unproductive ones too. Why should they want to rear cows under these circumstances? Wait and watch what happens to the milk industry.”

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Date : 29 May 2017