The centre today banned the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for the purpose of slaughter and banned animal market committees from allowing persons to bring in young cattle for sale.
A notification issued by the environment ministry directed the member secretary of an animal market committee to ensure that no person brings a young animal to the animal market.
In a statement, a senior official from the environment ministry said the notification has been issued in the direction of animal welfare.
The environment ministry has notified the stringent 'Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017' under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
The move is bound to have ramifications for the meat industry and millions of farmers across the country who want to sell of their animals in times of adversity.
According to the notification, the member secretary of an animal market committee will have to ensure that no person brings a young animal to the animal market.
The notification read: ''No person shall bring a cattle to an animal market unless upon arrival he has furnished a written declaration signed by the owner of the cattle – stating the name and address of the owner of the cattle, with a copy of the photo identification proof.
''Giving details of the identification of the cattle and stating that the cattle has not been brought to market for sale for slaughter.''
As per the notification, the 'animal market' has been described as a market place or sale-yard to which animals are brought from other places and exposed for sale or auction and includes any lairage adjoining a market or a slaughterhouse. According to former member of the legal sub-committee of Animal Welfare Board of India N G Jayasimha, because of the present system of open markets that allow trade of both milch and slaughter animals, and multiple buyers and sellers, it becomes impossible to trace an animal back to its farm of origin.
In his statement to news agency PTI, Jayasimha was quoted as saying: ''Hence, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 have been notified. The 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.''