NEW DELHI -- The central government's decision to ban the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter has met with sharp resistance across the country.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan called it an "attack on our plurality, the essence of India". "With effective ban on cattle slaughter, food consumption of millions affected," he tweeted on Friday. "New livestock regulation law will rob lakhs of jobs, cripple leather industry. Primarily an attack on our poor, dalits & farmers."
"Cattle slaughter becomes illegal at a time when manslaughter happens in the name of cow."
The government's decision is expected to have huge repercussions on the beef industry in India. In a Facebook post, Vijayan asked the people of the country to act against the "uncivilised decision" of the Centre, saying it is an attempt to destroy the secular fabric of the country.
Another minister in his cabinet called the move unconstitutional. Meanwhile, other political parties called it an "ill advised" decision which will widen the "terrorism" by cow vigilantes, reported PTI.
The All India Meat and Livestock Exporters Association claimed the government's decision will eventually hit the farmers.
The organisation's spokesperson, Fauzan Alvi, said in Lucknow that the cattle sold for slaughter are usually the unproductive ones, and farmers like to sell them since they don't want the high maintenance cost of these animals.
The CPI termed the decision as "most unwise" and alleged that it was taken by the RSS.
In a statement, party general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy alleged that the move marks the inception of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat converting the country into a Hindu Rashtra.
"This will be totally unacceptable to crores and crores of people in the country. Forcible vegetarianism will do no good to the nation," he said.
N G Jayasimha, former member of legal sub committee of Animal Welfare Board of India, said the new rules prohibit the sale of animals for slaughter through the livestock markets so that animals for slaughter could be sought directly from farms, thus ensuring traceability and food safety.
V S Sunil Kumar, Minister of Agriculture in Kerala, said, "The powers of the Centre and the states are given in three different lists. One is the Union list. The other is the State list and the third one is the Concurrent list. This comes under the state list. The Centre has interfered in this."
The Welfare Party of India strongly criticised the government with its national president S Q R Ilyas saying that the order would bring "unprecedented chaos and conflicts in the country in the name of cow and cattle".
Mohammed Saleem, Vice President All India Jamiat-ul- Quresh said that if his organisation was aware of the decision, it would have appealed to the Prime Minister.
"No governments in the past did such things, neither Congress nor the Vajpayee government. It is not the question of minorities, poor Hindus are also dependent on it. The government receives the highest revenue from meat and leather trading. The economy will also be badly affected," he said from Hyderabad.
The environment ministry notified the stringent 'Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017' under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
(with PTI inputs)