markets 'more acceptable'
New Delhi, Nov 30 (PTI) The Centre is "considering" making certain changes to a notification which bans the sale and purchase of cattle at animal markets for slaughter, to make it more "acceptable", a top official said today, prompting animal rights body PETA to term it a "dark day" for animals.
The environment ministry, in May, had notified the stringent Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
Under the rules, there was a ban on the sale and purchase of cattle at animal markets for slaughter, a move that was expected to hit the trade and export of meat and leather.
The rules had also prohibited practices cruel to animals, including painting of horns and putting ornaments or decorative materials on them.
"The ministry is considering certain changes, which will make the rules more acceptable," a top environment ministry official said.
Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan had earlier said the government was open to considering alternative views and that suggestions on the issue were being reviewed.
He had also said that the aim of the rules was to regulate the animal markets and sale of cattle and asserted that the provisions only applied to animals in the livestock markets and those seized as case properties.
Harsh Vardhan had also said the government did not want to "alter" the food habits of the people and put businesses in this sector to trouble.
Sources in the environment ministry said the file in this regard had already been sent to the law ministry.
In July, the Supreme Court had extended to the entire country the Madras High Court order, staying the notification of the Centre, banning the sale and purchase of cattle at markets for slaughter.
Meanwhile, animal rights body the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) termed it a "dark day" for animals as the nation "turned its back" on the most vulnerable cattle and other animals.
"Some of the worst cruelties to animals, destined for slaughter, take place at the markets," said Manilal Valliyate, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), PETA India.
As the transporters and handlers usually considered it a waste to provide any care to the animals destined for death, the animals that often arrived at the markets with injuries or broken bones due to transportation or lack of proper ramps were typically left to suffer without any veterinary care, he added.
"They are denied food and water and crammed into trucks when chosen for slaughter. Sending animals for slaughter directly, rather than through the market, can at least spare them some suffering.
"The rules had also importantly banned cruel and painful practices such as hot-branding and freeze-branding, mutilating the animals' ears, force-feeding them with fluids and other cruelties common at the markets," Valliyate said.