Cattle trade ban: SC modifies its earlier order, vacates stay on second notification
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday vacated its stay on a part of the Centre’s rules governing trade in livestock and transport of cattle.
A bench headed by Chief Justice J.S. Khehar modified its 11 July order under which a nationwide stay was imposed on both the notifications and disposed of the case.
The court vacated its stay on the second notification ensuring welfare of animals in cattle market and adequate facilities for housing, feeding, veterinary care, etc.
In May, the Centre issued two notifications, namely, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Market) Rules, 2017 and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Care and Maintenance of Case Property animals) Rules, 2017, tightening trade in livestock and transport of cattle to ensure their welfare at animal markets and also prevent smuggling.
Both these notifications were stayed by the apex court in July. This was challenged on grounds that the Madurai bench of the Madras high court had only stayed a part of the rules while the apex court extended the stay on the rules in their entirety to all states.
The challenge was brought by animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi, who sought a clarification on the court’s order extending the stay on the cattle trade rules to all states.
On 11 July, the Centre apprised the court of a set of amended rules governing trade in livestock and transport of cattle that were likely to be notified by the end of August.
The impugned rules banned trading in cattle for slaughter at animal markets. The rules included buffaloes in their definition of cattle, raising concerns that they would jeopardize the buffalo meat export business as the supply chain of spent buffaloes will be disrupted.
The central government rules drew criticism from various quarters, including opposition parties, who argued that they virtually ban the sale of cattle in the country.