Govt open to views on cattle slaughter ban

The government has said it is open to the suggestions made by various groups on the cattle slaughter notification and was not viewing it as a prestige issue, amid a raging row over the order.
Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said the intention behind the notification was not to harm any particular group, influence food habits or affect slaughter business. “Suggestions that have been submitted will be reviewed. It is not a prestige issue for the government,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a function here on the eve of the World Environment Day.
The minister was asked if these representations were being reviewed. The row over cattle trade has sparked nationwide protests in states, including Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. Kerala and West Bengal chief ministers have refused to accept the order, describing the ban as undemocratic and unconstitutional. On May 30, the Madras High Court had stayed for four weeks the enforcement of the contentious notification banning sale and purchase of cattle at animal markets for slaughter. The order had come on a petition challenging the bar as inimical to personal liberty, people’s rights to livelihood and an encroachment into matters that are the states’ domain.
Harsh Vardhan said, “Rules under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, are not to influence food habits, or affect slaughtering business.” After announcement of the ban under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, the Environment Ministry has received several representations on it asking the government to consider alternative views, he said.
Meanwhile on Sunday, RSS general secretary Bhaiyyaji Joshi claimed that the cow protection issue was being politicised. “Currently in the country, the issue of cow protection is being politicised and deliberately made sensitive and conflicting and this act is a social sin,” he said addressing the RSS valedictory function in Pune. Joshi said, “Cow protection is not against any religion or any particular community.” He also emphasised that the Sangh believes in dialogue and not in conflict.