Madras court orders temporary halt to Indian beef ban

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The petitioner pointed out that the "impugned provisions" are contrary to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, for the said Act being the parent enactment specifically permits slaughter of animals and the sale of animals for slaughter, and also section 28 permits killing of animals for religious purposes.

Read Also: Andhra Pradesh: Centre bans on cow sale for slaughter, Andhra seer holds pooja The petitioners said the provisions were notified on May 23 last when courts were on vacation.

'I filed the petition because I thought the ban undermined basic rights such as the right to profession, ' Selvagomathy told Reuters news agency, adding that the lifting of the ban applied to all Indian states.

Union information and broadcasting minister M Venkaiah Naidu defended the move saying the notification was in response to a Supreme Court observation on preventing cruelty to animals and "breaking the nexus in animal markets, including for smuggling".

The decision has drawn flak from the opposition parties and various organisations who claim that it would hit the export and trade of meat and leather.

"What someone will eat is his or her personal choice". The state has not given any such order. He alleged that it is a "covert attempt to usurp the powers of state legislatures" in the guise of rules.

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The list of animals that can not be bought or sold for slaughter through cattle markets includes cows, bulls, buffaloes, heifers, calves and camels.

Some states organized "beef fests" to protest the ban. Such rules should be discussed in parliament and approved by it. Rules prohibiting sale and purchase of animals offended the right to freedom of religion guaranteed under Constitution, they submitted.

"Take an understanding that the animals are bought for agriculture purposes and not for slaughter".

The slaughter of cows, as well as the possession or consumption of beef, is banned in most but not all Indian states.

The new rules also prohibited establishment of an animal market in a place which is situated within 25 km from any state border and within 50 km from any global border.