Kerala HC refuses to stay centre’s ban on sale of cattle for slaughter

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The Kerala High Court on Wednesday refused to stay the centre's new notification banning the sale of cattle for slaughter. The HC decided not to order an interim stay on the implementation of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 (Rules), which prohibits the sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets.

Justice PB Suresh Kumar while passing the order on a batch of petitions filed challenging Rule 22 of the new notification acknowledged that it affected the livelihood of many and hence listed the petitions for expeditious disposal on August 26.

Kerala HC refuses to stay centre’s ban on sale of cattle for slaughter

The petitioners include a cattle trader P U Kunju Muhammed as well as MLA Hibi Eden along with Kozhikode district meat workers association. Petitioners represented by advocate Haris Beeran contended that the new rules violated Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India. They added that it amounted to a colorable exercise of the power and encroached upon the legislative domain of the State Legislatures.

While the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court had earlier granted a four-week stay on the operation of the new rules, a Division Bench of Kerala High Court on May 31 had dismissed a PIL challenging the notification filed by a youth Congress member.

The new Rules, notified under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, ban the sale of cows and buffaloes for slaughter at animal markets across India, and allow only farmland owners to trade at animal markets. The notification covers bulls, bullocks, cows, buffaloes, steers, heifers and calves, as well as the camel trade. They also require anyone purchasing cattle to provide an undertaking that the animals are bought for agricultural purposes and not slaughter.

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