The ban on sale or purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughtering by the central government is against the fundamental rights guaranteed under the constitution, said All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS).
In a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in the Supreme Court, the AIKS said that the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 as unconstitutional.
Highlighting that the farmers and other traders involved in sale of cattle and other animals and slaughter houses and its employees would be gravely deprived of their right to livelihood as under the impugned regulations, the farmers organisation said that the new provisions are in violation of the right to livelihood under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
“After the enactment of the rules, it has become almost impossible for a farmer to sell his cattle outside of the cattle market. Adding to these problems is the fact that self-appointed cow vigilantes or animal rights activists perceive those in possession of cattle as criminals,” it said.
Requesting urgent interference of the Supreme Court, AIKS said that by equating slaughter with cruelty and criminalizing the trade and transportation of animals for slaughter at animal markets as an act of cruelty, the Central government has effectively enforced a country-wide ban on the slaughter of buffaloes and cattle, and the consumption of beef.
“Animal markets are crucial nuclei of the production cycle of animals, through which animals pass from farmers to others and vice-versa. The rules effectively choke the free movement of animals via the market space and, more critically, completely undermine the freedom and rights of farmers, traders and all others whose livelihoods are linked to this production cycle,” it said.
AIKS also underlined that increasing attacks on Dalits and minorities and deliberate creation of communal divide to promote corporate interests is also going on across the country.