New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a petition challenging the nationwide stay it imposed on rules governing trade in livestock and transport of cattle.
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.
It was sought on grounds that the Madurai bench of the Madras high court had only stayed a part of the rules. The apex court extended the stay on the rules in their entirety to all states.
The case will be heard next on 21 July.
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.
Only the former had been stayed by the Madurai bench of the Madras high court. This stay order was extended to all states by the apex court.
The 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 rules drew criticism from various quarters, including opposition parties, who argued that they virtually ban the sale of cattle in the country.
On 12 July, the Centre had told the court that a new set of amended rules governing trade in livestock and transport of cattle were likely to be notified by the end of August.