The Indian government has banned the sale of cattle for slaughter at animal markets across the country, reported Indian newspaper The Hindu. 

Under a notification, titled the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017, India,  those who wish to sell cattle — bulls, cows, buffaloes, steers, heifers and camels — may do so only after they formally state that the animals have not been “brought to the market for sale for slaughter”.

Verification of buyers

At the same time, buyers of cattle at animal markets will have to verify they are agriculturalists and declare that they will not sell the animal/s for a period of six months from the date of purchase.

The rules, notified by the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on May 23, demand that buyers “follow the State cattle protection and preservation laws” and “not sacrifice the animal for any religious purpose”. They also prohibit cattle purchased from animal markets being sold outside the State, without permission.

Monitoring committees at the State and district levels will be set up to implement the rules and monitor the functioning of animal markets. Such markets will be identified and registered; any new market that is set up will need the approval of the District Animal Market Monitoring Committee, which will be chaired by the Collector or District Magistrate.

To inhibit smuggling, animal markets may not function within 25 kilometres of a State border and 50 kilometres of an international border.

The new rules banning the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter aim at regulating such markets and also the sale of bovines, Indian Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Friday.

Noting that the rules are very “specific”, the Minister said that sellers and buyers have to ensure that cattle are not brought or sold in the markets for slaughter purpose and an undertaking to this effect has to obtained.

“ The aim of the rules is only to regulate the animal market and sale of cattle in them and ensure welfare of cattle dealt in them.”