Welcoming the Centre's decision to ban the sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter from animal markets, Union Minister Maneka Gandhi on Saturday 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 here adding that the government has taken a laudable decision which is in the interest of farmers.
However, the decision did not go down well with opposition 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," Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac told media here.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) led LDF government in Kerala and the Congress-led UDF attacked the Centre for the ban on the sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the Centre's decision was surprising which was unsuitable for a democratic nation.
The Centre's notification restricted the sale of animals for slaughter which were used for agricultural purposes.
The environment ministry this week notified a regulation under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 prohibiting sale of cattle through animal markets across the country.
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.
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