Have they read it right? Where does the notification speak of a beef ban?
There has been a lot of outraging not just on the social media, but also among politicians following the Centre's notification on the restriction of sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets. Comments have been pouring in and states have already decided to bring out a legislation to counter the state's notification.
The question is, does the centre's notification really speak about a beef ban? Let us examine the notification issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. To cut a long story short, the notification only sets out a restriction on sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets.
The notification also sets out guidelines and rules for the upkeep of the animal markets and seeks to ensure that the welfare of the animal is protected when being traded.
The notification states:
No person shall bring cattle to an animal-market without submitting a written declaration signed by the owner of the cattle or his duly authorised agent to the member secretary of the new committee.
The name and address of the owner of the cattle, with a copy of the photo identification proof, has to be given.
Cattle trade at animal markets only takes place for agricultural purposes.
There is a restriction on the purchaser of the cattle from sacrificing the animal for any religious purpose.
Animal Market defined:
According to the notification, an "Animal Market," is defined as the following: "Animal market" means a "market place or sale-yard or any other premises or place to which animals are brought from other places and exposed for sale or auction and includes any lairage adjoining a market or slaughterhouse and used in connection with it and any place adjoining a market used as a parking area by visitors to the market for parking vehicles and includes animal fair and cattle pound where animals are offered or displayed for sale or auction".
The confusion lies here:
The notification does not make it clear whether slaughterhouses are permitted to procure cattle for slaughter directly from farmers. A bare reading would indicate that there is no rule that prohibits this.
These rules would make it tough for slaughterhouses to function. There are tough restrictions. In short the notification does not speak of a beef ban. It only regulates the process to ensure the upkeep of the animal. The owner of a slaughterhouse will now have to buy the cattle directly from the farmer who is selling it. He won't have the choice to choose the cattle until a farmer sells it.
Licensed slaughterhouse owners will have to look for farmers to purchase cattle.