Law allows slaughtering cattle, SC tells govt

New Delhi: The law itself allows the cattle slaughter for food and religious purposes. If slaughtering cattle for food or religious sacrifice is allowed under the Prevention of Cruelty Act, then why did the government ban the cattle sale for these purposes in the new livestock market rules, the Supreme Court asked the Centre on Friday.

According to a report by The Hindu, a Bench of Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud pointed out that the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960 allowed slaughter for food and religious sacrifices.

On the other hand, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (Regulation of Livestock Market) Rules of 2017 require a person coming to the market to give a declaration in written that he will not sell his cattle for slaughter.

“How can you [the Centre] insist that a person should give a written undertaking that he is not bringing cattle to the market for sale for slaughter? This is an interference of his fundamental right to carry on trade, protected under the Prevention of Cruelty Act,” Justice D.Y. Chandrachud told the government.

The Bench also confirmed the order of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court staying certain provisions of the livestock rules banning sale or purchase of cattle in markets for slaughter and religious sacrifices. It, however, cleared out that there was no stay on the implementation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Act of 2017.

Disposing of the pleas challenging the rules, the court gave liberty to petitioners to approach it in a case of grievance about the fresh rules the government proposes to notify soon.