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January 20, 2017

Government notifies draft rules for regulating livestock markets and care of animals seized in cruelty cases

Humane Society International/India and People for Animals welcome Centre’s decision

Humane Society International/India

  • Cow Herd, HSI

The Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change today published draft rules prescribing a comprehensive procedure for care, cost, maintenance, veterinary treatment and overall well-being of animals seized from markets and from cases of animal cruelty. The draft rules are now up for public comments for a period of 30 days. 

Humane Society International/India and People for Animals have played a significant role approaching the judiciary for the government to implement these rules.

Every year, tens of thousands of cattle are routinely smuggled across the borders into Nepal for sacrifice and Bangladesh for slaughter. Animals confiscated during such transport are either returned to the accused pending litigation, or auctioned. In both scenarios, the animals return to the trade, defeating the purpose of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. In a similar vein, the absence of regulation means animals in livestock markets are routinely denied access to food, water, veterinary facilities and other basic amenities.

In a petition filed in Supreme Court against smuggling of cattle to Nepal for the Gadhimai sacrifice, the Hon’ble Court sought for recommendations from the stakeholders for preventing such activities. The recommendations included formations of State Animal Welfare Board at state level, Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals (SPCA) at district level, regulation of livestock markets, establishment of procedures to deal with case property animals among other things. The Hon’ble Court observed the necessity of these aforementioned regulations and recorded the recommendations in its order.

Gauri Maulekhi, trustee at PFA and government liaison for HSI/India said, “We welcome this move of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. If the Government implements these rules, this move will help save indigenous breeds of cattle.These rules will also bring much-needed respite to tens of thousands of animals who are subjected to unthinkable cruelty in livestock markets.”

These rules are being framed in compliance with the directions given by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.

Media Contact: Navamita Mukherjee, email: nmukherjee@hsi.org, mobile: 91-9985472760

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