Cattle: India

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Indian cattle in 1911

This section was written around 1911 when conditions were
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Extracted from:

Encyclopaedia of India


No further details are available about this book, except that it was sponsored in some way by the (British-run) Government of India.

NOTE: While reading please keep in mind that all articles in this series have been scanned from a book. Therefore, footnotes have got inserted into the main text of the article, interrupting the flow. Readers who spot these footnotes gone astray might like to shift them to the correct place.

Secondly, kindly ignore all references to page numbers, because they refer to the physical, printed book.

Throughout the whole of India, except in Sind and the western districts of the Punjab, horned cattle are the only beasts used for ploughing. The well-known humped species of cattle predominates everywhere, being divided into many varieties. Owing partly to unfavourable conditions of climate and soil, partly to the insufficiency of grazing ground, and partly to the want of selection in breeding, the general condition of the cattle is miserably poor. As cultivation advances, the area of waste land available for grazing steadily diminishes, and the prospects of the poor beasts are becoming worse rather than better. Their only hope lies in the introduction of fodder crops as a regular stage in the agricultural course. There are, however, some fine breeds in existence. In Mysore the amrit mahal, a breed said to have been introduced by Hyder Ali for military purposes, is still kept up by the state. In the Madras districts of Nellore and Kurnool the indigenous breed has been greatly improved under the stimulus of cattle shows and prizes founded by British officials. In the Central Provinces there is a peculiar breed of trotting bullocks which is in great demand for wheeled carriages.

The large and handsome oxen of Gujarat in Bombay and of Hariana in the Punjab are excellently adapted for drawing heavy loads in a sandy soil. The fodder famines that accompanied the great famines of 1897 and 1900 proved little short of disastrous to the cattle in the affected provinces. In Gujarat and the arid plains of the south-east Punjab the renowned herds almost disappeared. In the affected districts of the Punjab the loss of cattle averaged from 17 to 45% of the whole. In Rajputana more than half of its thirteen or fourteen millions of stock is said to have perished in 1900 alone. In one state the loss amounted to 90%, and in four others to 70%. In Gujarat half of its 12 million cattle perished in spite of the utmost efforts to obtain fodder.

The worst cattle are to be found always in the deltaic tracts, but there their place is to a large extent taken by buffaloes. These last are more hardy than ordinary cattle; their charactot is maintained by crossing the cows with wild bulls, and their milk yields the best ghi or clarified butter. Along the valley of the Indus, and in the sandy desert which stretches into Rajputana, camels supersede cattle for agricultural operations. The breed of horses has generally deteriorated since the demand for military purposes has declined with the establishment of British supremacy. In Bengal Proper, and also in Madras, it may be broadly said that horses are not bred. But horses are still required for the Indian army, the native cavalry, and the police; and in order to maintain the supply of remounts a civil veterinary department was founded in 1892, transferred in 1903 to the army remount department. Horse-breeding is carried on chiefly in the Punjab, the United Provinces, and Baluchistan, and government keep a number of stallions in the various provinces. Formerly Norfolk trotters held the first place in point of number, but their place has been taken in recent years by English thoroughbreds, Arabs, and especially Australians. For the supply of ordnance, baggage, and transport mules a large number of donkey stallions have been imported by the government annually from various European and other sources. But the supply of suitable animals is not good, and their cost is large; so the breeding of donkey stallions has been undertaken at the Hissar farm in the Punjab.



Swatee Kher, February 28, 2023: The Times of India

Dangi cattle are indigenous to Trimbakeshwar, Igatpuri, Akole and Junnar talukas of Maharashtra. Their oily skin helps them survive in places with heavy rainfall
From: Swatee Kher, February 28, 2023: The Times of India

Dangi is a cattle breed native to the hilly areas of Maharashtra’s Nashik and Ahmednagar districts. The khoya made from its milk is so sweet that a popular Marathi saying goes: “You can be only as sweet as rajur (the word for khoya in Ahmednagar). ” Yet, the breed might have become extinct without the efforts of scientists, farmers and local organisations.

Starting 2014, researchers from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune, BAIF Development Research Foundation, New Delhi, local farmers and community organisations worked hard to make Dangi cattle rearing viable. 
“When we started work, there were only small herds left,” said Sarang Pande of Lokpanchayat, a local organisation working in Ahmednagar. “The surviving cattle were also battling ailments due to changes in environment, cropping pattern and fodder. We started with proper vaccination of the surviving cattle. ” Thanks to their efforts, villages in the region now have some young, thoroughbred Dangi bulls.

Meanwhile, multi-disciplinary teams of experts, community organisations and locals across Maharashtra are working to build the country’s first gene bank that will ensure Dangi and other native breeds of plants and animals don’t go extinct. The bank will store not only the hardy seeds of indigenous species and germplasm but also traditional knowledge.

In the Dangi project, for example, the traditional practice of ‘rakhan raan’ – setting aside grass and fodder for cattle throughout the year – played a key role. A ‘Dangi Parents Sangh’ was also started with 30 families in Akole taluka to rear purebred cattle. 
“The efforts paid off and we now have purebred bulls. We are now trying to see how milk, cow dung and manure from the Dangi breed can be marketed. We want to promote it like Gir cows to revive this indigenous breed,” Pande said. 

Bringing The Bank To Life

In the early 2000s renowned ecologist Madhav Gadgil had felt the need to conserve native and indigenous species of crops and other plants, and document oral traditions and knowledge associated with them. A pilot run from 2014 to 2019 proved successful, and last April, the Maharashtra government sanctioned Rs 179 crore to expand the project. 
IISER faculty V S Rao, who is projectdirector of the Maharashtra Gene Bank, said many local varieties of different living organisms are preserved by communities and individuals. “Farmers have generations of knowledge passed down orally about various plant and crop species. Our team’s effort is to preserve these pockets that still practise traditional methods, and the indigenous varieties that have survived due to their adaptive nature,” he said. 

Seven Focus Areas

The gene bank project focuses on seven themes: marine biodiversity, crop genetic diversity, livestock genetic diversity, conservation and sustainable use of indigenous fish, conservation of grassland biodiversity, eco restoration of community forest resource lands, and economic plant species.

“We work with the locals and communitybased organisations in each area. There are three national research institutions, two universities and 16 NGOs involved in the work. We have a tremendous gene pool in the country and it should not be lost since the indigenous species have adapted to the local environment and survived for many, many years,” Rao said. 
The project also involves children. When schoolchildren were given a project to identify and name plants, animals and grass species around them during their holidays, “they came back with 200 varieties and collected seeds too. ” “It helped them understand biodiversity and the effort required to conserve it,” Rao said. 

Backup For The Future

Along with in situ (on-site) conservation, there is the gene bank in Pune where genotypes are kept as a backup and for reference. There are community-based seed banks at the local level where farmers can collect seeds and redeposit them after a harvest. Such seed banks are running successfully at Jawhar in Palghar taluka, Akole in Ahmednagar, and Bhandara district. 
“These are commitment banks. A member can take a kilogram of seeds and return two kilograms. It’s a cooperative society managed by members. We call them genome saviours, and unique genomes are registered by the National Bureau of Plant Genetics,” Rao said.

Now, each group has identified expansion areas. For example, the livestock diversity group is looking at keeping the Katak breed of goats from Sangamner alive. Scan this QR code or visit timesspecial. com. Log in to unlock 3 months of free access. Should you opt for new EPFO scheme?

The Frieswal breed

Military farms' shutdown hits the project

Sandeep Rai, Military farms' shutdown to hit Rs 800cr project, August 8, 2017: The Times of India

A 30-year-long project that cost Rs 800 crore and produced a high-yield breed of cow that, according to experts, contributed to making India self-sufficient in milk production is on the verge of being derailed due to the impending shutdown of military farms across the country.

The Frieswal breed, developed by cross-breeding the Holstein Friesian cow of the Netherlands with the Sahiwal of India, is the result of studies at the Indian Council of Agricultural Research's (ICAR) Central Institute for Research on Cattle (CIRC), located on a military farm here. These farms today house 15,000 such cows and 10,000 bulls and calves and have helped farmers breed hundreds of thousands of the cows over the years. The cows at the farms provide 1 lakh litres of high-quality milk every day , mostly consumed by armed forces personnel.

B Prakash, director, ICAR and head, CIRC, said, “In order to provide more quality milk for the armed forces and the general public, a massive cross-breeding programme was initiated at Meerut in 1987 as a result of an agreement between the defence ministry and ICAR. Land was to be provided by the defence ministry at military farms, while technical expertise was provided by ICAR. After intense research and expenditure of close to Rs 800 crore, the Frieswal breed was developed. It had 62.5% genetic strain of Holstein Friesian and 37.5% of Sahiwal.“

However, now the scien tists involved in the project are a disappointed lot.

“The defence ministry has decided to shut down military farms because the Army is incurring losses while maintaining them. With no other land available to ICAR, the Frieswal project will also be scrapped,“ added Prakash.

According to officials at CIRC, last-ditch efforts are on to shift the centre elsewhere.“The deadline for the closure of these farms is August 15 while the cattle can be disposed of within three months by auction in the open market,“ said Ravindra Sangwan, senior scientist, animal genetics breeding of CIRC.



Significance of Gir bulls in animal husbandry and dairy development: A history
From: June 20, 2021: The Times of India

See graphic:

Significance of Gir bulls in animal husbandry and dairy development- A history

Domesticated livestock in India

Domesticated livestock in India
From: The Times of India

Buffaloes on a rise ,
From: India Today , June 12,2017

See graphics :

Domesticated livestock in India.

Buffaloes on a rise

Milk yield

2019/ Hisar's buffalo sets record with 32kg

Shariq Majeed, Dec 10, 2019 Times of India

JAGRAON (LUDHIANA): A seven-year-old Murrah buffalo, Saraswati, has set a world record in milk yield after it gave on an average 32.066 kilograms of milk on each of the three days of the Progressive Dairy Farmers’ Association’s International Dairy and Agri Expo held in Ludhiana’s Jagraon.

The result was declared on the concluding day of the three-day event on Monday.

The association president, Daljit Singh Sadarpura, said, “Saraswati gave on an average 32.066 kilograms of milk per day, beating the world record set by a Murrah buffalo of Pakistan’s Faisalabad in November 2018. Saraswati is a prized possession and its owner can earn handsome sums by selling its embryos.”

The association’s International Dairy and Agri Expo is recognized throughout the world as one of the prominent live competition events for buffaloes, cows, heifers and bulls. As many as 20 contests were held during the event, he said, adding, “We are happy that the world record has been set at our expo.”

The buffalo owner — Sukhbir Dhanda of Litani in Hisar — was elated when the results were declared. “It is an honour not only for me, but for the entire country as Saraswati has set a world record with highest yield in a day. The credit goes to my mother, Kailo Devi, who takes its best care. We attend to her round-the-clock and make sure she is served the best fodder,” Dhanda said.

Saraswati has been making him proud by taking the top slot in many a competition.

“Saraswati had won the first prize here the previous year as well after recording 29.31 kilograms of milk yield. She had won the first prize in an event of Central Institute for Research on Buffaloes, Hissar, with her 28.70kg milk yield. That’s not all. She had won a contest at an event organised by Haryana Livestock Development Board with her 28.80-kilogram milk production,” Dhanda added. No doubt, the buffalo is his valuable asset.

“People approach me to buy Saraswati. Some even offer as much as Rs 51 lakh. But I tell them it is not for sale. I cannot part from it. We recently sold her calf for Rs 4.5 lakh to a man from Tamil Nadu. We have two more buffaloes, Ganga and Jamuna. The buffalo that had set the world record in Pakistan in 2018 was of Nilli Ravi breed. ”

Following the declaration of results, hundreds of cattle lovers visited the venue to take a look at the winner.

Cattle semen, frozen

2016: available online

i) Cattle/ bovine population
ii) milk production in India,
both presumably in2016

Catlle/ bovine population and milk production in India, 2016 Vishwa Mohan, Sale of cattle and their semen gets a digital boost, Nov 28 2016 : The Times of India

Sale of cattle, buffaloes and their frozen semen has gone digital in India. The agriculture ministry on the occasion of the National Milk Day launched a web portal in Nov 2016 which on its very first day saw sales of nearly 9 lakh doses of frozen semen.

The first of its kind of portal in India -provides a digital market platform to breeders, sellers and buyers.It facilitates trade of live cowsbuffaloes, frozen semen and embryos under a verified and certified system without intervention of middlemen.

“Breedersfarmers can sell and purchase breeding stock through the portal. Information on all forms of germ-plasm including semen, embryos and live animals with all the agencies and stakeholders in the country have been uploaded on the portal“, said the Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh after launching e-pashuhaat.

He noted that the portal will lead to propagation of high genetic merit germplasm. “Farmers would get information on availability of quality disease free bovine germ-plasm in the country at one platform,“ said Singh.

The portal also provides e-transactions and home delivery facility. It not only carries breed and yield details of animals but also enlists their price tag.

Over 5,400 live cattles buffaloes, 1.65 crore doses of frozen semen and 354 embryos were available for trade on the website on the first day . The portal has connected farmers to 56 semen stations across 20 states in the country . Besides being a buyerseller platform, this government portal will also provide many related services to farmers and breeders.

These services include handling of artificial insemination, good care practices, animal certification, nutritional advisory and disease screening and testing of animals.

The portal is part of the ministry's initiative to meet the ever growing demand of milk in the country under a new scheme – National Mission on Bovine Productivity -with an allocation of Rs 825 crore. It is also aimed at making milk production more remunerative to farmers.

“The need to have an integrated market in the form of e-platform was felt because the country , at present, does not have any authentic organised market place for buyingselling animals.“

Though indigenous breeds are currently being sold in local `haats' and animal fairs in different part of the country , it does not guarantee any breed in absence of a verification mechanism“, said an official.

He said, “The farmers are also cheated due to lack of traceability and tracking of particular breeds, frozen semen and embryos. The ministry's portal will, however, now help the buyers in getting authentic breeds of animals and their scientifically verified semen and embryos“.

Sale of cattle

Centre bans cattle sale for slaughter

Vishwa Mohan, Centre bans sale of cattle for slaughter at livestock markets, May 27, 2017: The Times of India

Rules of sale of cattle in India; The Times of India, May 27, 2017


The move is aimed at ending uncontrolled and unregulated animal trade

The rules won’t apply to goats and sheep, often sacrificed during Id

Meat export organisations have protested the move saying it was sudden and arbitrary

NEW DELHI: In a move amounting to a virtual ban on unregulated trade of cattle, the Centre on Friday announced strict rules to prohibit sale of animals for slaughter or religious sacrifice at livestock markets and animal fairs that are a common occurrence in rural areas. The animals under purview are cows, bulls, bullocks, buffaloes, steers, heifers, calves and camels.

The official reasoning is the order is intended to end uncontrolled and unregulated animal trade. The rules won't apply to goats and sheep, often sacrificed during Id. Apart from the stated objective of curbing unregulated trade, mixing of milch animals with older, less healthy beasts meant for slaughter, the move has political overtones in tune with BJP's pledge to "protect" the cow and its progeny+ .

The rules are in line with BJP's emphasis on shutting down illegal slaughterhouses during the UP poll and the views expressed by senior leaders calling for the promotion of "cattle wealth" rather than the meat trade.

Meat export organisations have protested the move saying it was sudden and arbitrary and will affect their business+ that is already taking a hit over the actions of BJP governments that have discouraged the trade.

Activists welcomed the step taken in the wake of Supreme Court's directions for regulation of livestock markets. "We commend the ministry for their vision and their efforts to protect the most vulnerable animals, be it animals used as reproductive machines for breeding or animals that are cruelly sold off at unregulated markets," said Gauri Maulekhi, trustee at People for Animals (PFA).

With the onus being on cattle owners to certify that cattle will not be sold for slaughter or sacrifice, the trade in animals will be more regulated, said officials. The rules will bring in new norms for the functioning of well-known livestock markets or annual cattle fairs like the ones at Sonepur (Bihar) and Pushkar (Rajasthan) or in other states including Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

Animals for slaughter can now be bought directly from farms — a move expected to ensure traceability and food safety standards and weed out middlemen between farmers and slaughterhouses, and increase the income of farmers who rear such animals for trade. New rules have, however, not banned sale of such animals for agriculture purposes or milk. But it can be done only through regulated livestock markets which will have to adhere to safety standards and certain do's and don'ts to avoid cruelty against the animals.

The rules, notified by the ministry of environment, will have to be implemented within three months across the country, including Kerala, which allow cow slaughter. Though the issues relating to cow slaughter come under the 'state' subject in terms of making law and framing the rules, the new central rules are notified under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act of 1960 that gives the Centre power over animal welfare.

"The rules intend to promote the concept of 'farm to fork', which revolves around the traceability of food products as they move through the supply chain. Due to the present system of open markets that allow trade of both milch and slaughter animals, and multiple buyers and sellers, it becomes impossible to trace an animal back to its farm of origin", said N G Jayasimha, managing director of the Humane Society International/India, who was part of the drafting committee of the Regulation of Livestock market rules. He said, "The animals being sold for slaughter are generally unfit, making the markets a major hub for the spread of infectious diseases as there are no records and no liability. Cattle suffering from foot & mouth disease or mad cow disease may be sold. So, the idea behind the new rules is to ensure that only healthy animals are traded for agricultural purposes, whereas animals for slaughter must be sourced directly from farms to ensure traceability".

The rules also provide for setting up a district-level authority to enforce animal protection laws on the ground, including those against illegal slaughter. As part of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017, it makes a provision of constitution of Animal Market Committee for management of animal markets in the district. The Committee will have to ensure that no person will bring a cattle to an animal market unless upon arrival he has furnished a written declaration signed by the owner of the cattle that "the cattle has not been brought to market for sale for slaughter".

The purchaser will have to give an undertaking that he/she will not sell the animal for purpose of slaughter, follow the state cattle protection or preservation laws, not sacrifice the animal for any religious purpose and not sell the cattle to a person outside the state without the permission as per the state cattle protection laws. Under the rules, no animal market will be allowed in a place that is within 25 km from any state border or that is within 50 km from any international border. Besides, unfit animals, pregnant animals, animals who have not been vaccinated and animals under six months of age cannot be displayed or sold at any of the cattle market anywhere in the country. The market committee will have to keep a record of name and address of the purchaser and procure his identity proof. The committee will also have to ensure that the purchaser of the animal gives a declaration that he shall not sell the animal up to six months from the date of purchase and shall abide by the rules relating to transport of animals made under the Act or any other law for the time being in force.

Since the rules include buffaloes in their definition of cattle, big traders and exporters will initially feel the heat in procuring the animals for meat. But the regulation of slaughter houses and closure of illegal ones will ultimately bring consistency of supply in the market and ensure food safety standard. India is currently a major buffalo meat exporting country which grew from Rs 3,533 crore in 2007-08 to Rs 26,685 crore in 2015-16.

"The three-month time given for implementing these rules will be sufficient to regulate the practice. After all, the specific provisions will only apply to animals in livestock market and animal seized as case properties. The legal slaughter houses can directly procure animals from farms", said an official.

Notice to dog breeders

The ministry has separately also notified the Dog Breeding & Marketing Rules to regulate the breeding industry where tens of thousands of dogs are bred in deplorable conditions without proper medical care. The rules mandate obtaining of a certificate of the registration from the Animal Welfare Board of India for breeding activity, owning or housing dogs for breeding, for sale of dogs and pups. Such a certificate will be valid for a period of one year. It will also be non-transferable and be subject to reviewing.

The rules require the breeder to maintain records of all the animals housed in the establishment including the dogs being used for breeding and the dogs for sale. The breeder will also have to maintain records of each individual dog. Besides, every registered breeder is required to submit an annual report to the Board detailing total number of animals traded (sold or exchanged), boarded or exhibited during the previous year.

Cattle sale norms based on SC order, 2016

Vishwa Mohan, Cattle sale norms based on SC order of 2016, May 31, 2017: The Times of India

The environment ministry's notification prohibiting sale of cattle for slaughter or sacrifice in livestock markets is based on the Supreme Court's order of July last year when the apex court had directed it to frame rules under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, to curb transborder smuggling of cattle and to protect animals from cruelty .

It all started with a writ petition, filed by animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi in 2014, drawing the SC's attention to large-scale smuggling of cattle to Nepal for sacrifice there at the Gadhimai festival. The festival is held every five years at Bariyarpur village, where over five lakh animals are sacrificed in a span of two days making it the largest animal sacrifice in the world. Maulekhi, a trustee at Union minister Maneka Gandhi-led People for Animals (PFA), had sought SC intervention so that trans-border smuggling can be stopped with involvement of different agencies, including border guarding forces and state police, and cattle was made available to farmers at reasonable prices for agriculture.

The court then passed an order on July 13, 2015 to frame guidelines to prevent animals from being smuggled out of India for the festival and constituted a committee under the then director general of Sahastra Seema Bal. The panel submitted a list of 20 recommendations, paving the way for the SC to deliver its final order on July 12 last year asking the ministry to frame rules under Section 38 of the 1960 Act.

Saying the new rules were long overdue, Maulekhi told TOI on Tuesday that the move would save cattle from cruelty , remove the scope of illegal sale and smuggling and also help farmers who would now be able to buy cattle for agriculture purposes.

She said, “ Animal markets, which used to be `farmer markets', have turned into `butcher markets' over the years. The result has been that there are no animals left for farmers to buy . The prices have been driven sky-high by butchers and no farmer who wants an animal for ploughing can afford one.More small farmers are driven to bankruptcy because they cannot afford mechanised vehicles“.

Stating that the new rules have restored hope for small and marginal farmers, Maulekhi said, “Price of the animals will now come down and small farmers will be able to afford them again, restoring some form of wealth to them“.

The committee's recommendations, which had become the basis for the SC order, include restrictions on slaughter, regulations of “pashu haatsmelas“ (animal marketfair), methods to handle unproductive animals and transportation of animals under existing laws in the country .

Its recommendation says, “No animal slaughter may be allowed at any religious or public place and slaughter may be permitted only in accordance with the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and Regulations, 2011“. It has not talked about a complete ban on slaughter but noted that it should be done in a manner that cattle suffering from disease do not enter the food chain.

Political opposition in Kerala, Puducherry, TN

Bengal, Kerala take bull by horns, reject cattle trade ban, May 30, 2017: The Times of India

Pondy CM Says Won't Implement Centre's Order

The countrywide chorus against the Centre's notification banning the sale of animals for slaughter at livestock markets and animal fairs grew louder on Monday , with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee saying West Bengal will not implement the new rules and Kerala writing to all CMs to oppose the new regulations. Describing the move as “undemocratic, unconstitutional and unethical“, Mamata said the state will seek a review by the Supreme Court, if needed. The Puducherry go vernment, too, said it will not implement the ban and passed a resolution in the assembly to register its protest against the notification. The move has caused consternation in the Christian-majority states of Meghalaya and Nagaland. Accusing the Modi government of crossing the “Lakshman rekha“, Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said, “Let's not forget that a state government, like the Centre, is elected. A government should not exceed its brief, endangering democracy and secularism.Nothing remains if a government bulldozes states and destroys the federal structure.“

Protests erupted across Tamil Nadu, with several parties, including the opposition DMK, slamming the “silent“ state government for not opposing the Centre on the issue.

DMK working president M K Stalin is to lead the protest on Wednesday . “The decision has affected the village economy . Several states have expressed their opposition to the ban, but the Tamil Nadu government is silent on it, and it is condemnable,“ the statement added.

Accusing BJP of imposing the Hindutva ideology across the country , Tamilar Desiya Munnani president Pazha Nedumaran called Tamil nationalist organisations to join an agitation on May 31 in Trichy . PMK chief S Ramadoss also warned of protests from his party members.

Puducherry CM V Narayanasamy said he would write to the PM urging him to withdraw the notification. If needed, legislation will be passed declaring that the Union government's notification will not be implemented, he said. “Beef is an integral part of French cuisine in the former French colony of Puducherry ,“ he added.

The Karnataka government is contemplating challenging the Centre's new rule in court.“We are studying the Centre's notification, and it appears very confusing. We have to see if the new regulation conforms to the 1960 law,“ said T B Jayachandra, Karnataka's law minister. In what could be termed as the first step for “beef diplomacy“ that may even turn out to be a movement to unite nonBJP CMs, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote letters to all his fel low CMs expressing concern over the recent guidelines issued by the Centre to regulate cattle trade.

He urged all his counterparts to stand together “to oppose this anti-federal, antidemocratic and anti-secular move“. In Left-ruled Tripura, CPM state secretary Bijan Dhar demanded the withdrawal of the notification.

Madras HC stays ban for 4 weeks…

Saravanan L1, Madras HC stays Centre's cattle ban for 4 weeks , May 31, 2017: The Times of India

Rules Violate Parent Act, Say Petitioners

The Union government's controversial notification of May 23 banning the sale of cattle in animal markets for slaughter was stayed on Tuesday by the Madras high court. A vacation bench of Justice M V Muralidharan and Justice C V Karthikeyan, granting an interim stay on the operation of the notification, also ordered notice to the state and central governments, returnable in four weeks. The interim order effectively stops operation of Rule 22(b) (iii) and Rule 22(e) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulations of Live Stock Markets) Rules 2017.

The bench passed the order when PILs filed by S Selvagomathy and Asik Elahi Baba of Madurai, seeking to declare those rules as ultra vires the parent act, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and various other constitutional provisions, came up for admission.

During arguments, the petitioner's counsel told the court that India was a multireligious and multi-cultural, secular republic which ensured social justice to all its citizens. The legislature has not categorised the slaughter of animals for the purpose of food as an act of cruelty . In fact, the petitioners said, the scheme of the Act spe cifically provides for and permits slaughter of any animal for the purpose of food.

Parliament did not enact the Act to in any way prohibit or restrict any act of slaughter of animals for food or for religious sacrifice or the sale of animals for these purposes. The joint secretary of the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change had no jurisdiction to make such rules contrary to the parent enactment and also beyond the rule-making power delegated to him, the PIL said. Therefore, the impugned provisions are ultra vires the parent Act -the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals Act, 1960 -they said.

The petition said the sale of animals is a trade and every citizen has a right to carry on any occupation, trade or business, guaranteed under the Constitution. The impugned provisions are in violation of the right to livelihood under the Constitution. Further, the SC had in various cases held that the right to choice of food is a part of the right to personal liberty , conscience and privacy . By imposing a ban on the slaughter of animals for food, citizens with a choice to eat the flesh of such animals would be deprived of such food, which violates the right to food, privacy and personal liberty guaranteed under the Constitution, they said. The Centre said the government had brought the rule to restrict the sale of cattle. It also sought four weeks to reply to the cases and argued against a stay of operation of the rules before they offer their reply .But the court said the matter should have been brought to the notice of the state government since implementation of the rule lay with the state government. It also said the subject was under concurrent list.While so, the court asked how the Centre could arbitrarily take the decision, adding that no parliamentary nod too had been given to the rule. A prima facie case is made out in favour of the petitioner sides, warranting an interim stay , the HC said.

…but Kerala HC supports the ban

Mahir Haneef , Kerala HC supports government order banning sale of cattle for slaughter in state, May 31, 2017: The Times of India

The Kerala high court dismissed PILs that sought quashing of the new central law banning sale of cattle for slaughter in the state.

The court said there was no need for the judiciary to interfere with the Centre's decision as it did not violate any law or provision in the Constitution.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Navniti Prasad said the new order had been "misread" and nothing stated in the petition has been banned by government.

The bench said there is no ban on slaughtering as such in the rules. In the absence of such ban on slaughtering, how are the petitioners aggrieved, the court asked.

The court also pointed out that Article 48 of the Constitution mandates ban on slaughtering cattle but the recently introduced rules only restricts sale of cattle for slaughter at markets. There is no restriction on sale of beef and the right to eat or slaughter beef are not restricted by the rules, the bench said.

"There is no ban on slaughter or sale of beef. What has been said in the new order is that mass sale of cattle for slaughter through the cattle market is banned," the judge observed.

In the absence of any cause for the petitioners to be aggrieved on such aspects through the imposition of the rules, there is no cause to file petitions, the bench said during the hearing.

While a total of five petitions were before the court, one of them, filed by Youth Congress general secretary TG Sunil, was withdrawn by the petitioner.

Widespread protests had erupted across Kerala objecting to the Centre's imposition of ban on sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter. Protesters alleged that it infringed upon the food habits of people. The state government led by chief minster Pinarayi Vijayan also criticized the new order, saying that it encroached on the powers of the state.

The Madurai bench of the Madras high court had on Tuesday suspended the ban for four weeks after PILs contended that the provisions of the Centre's order "breached the cardinal principle of federalism" as it amounted to legislation in the fields earmarked for state legislature.

The petition further said the rules, which deprived the people of the right to sell or purchase any animal for sale or slaughter as part of meat vending business, were a burdensome interference in the freedom of trade and business guaranteed under the Constitution.

The new rules notified by the Union environment ministry banned the sale or purchase of bulls, cows, camels for slaughter houses or for sacrifice for religious purpose.

2018: Govt dilutes rules on cattle sale

Govt finally dilutes rules on cattle sale, April 11, 2018: The Times of India

The Centre has finally scrapped its controversial notification on a ban on sale of animals for slaughter in livestock markets and come out with new draft rules doing away with the clause on “restrictions on sale of cattle”.

This means cattle, including cows, can be sold in animal markets, even for slaughter wherever it is legal.

Notification released in 2017 had not prohibited slaughter as such, but restrictions on sale of cattle for this purpose in animal markets had the effect of restraining it even in Kerala, Bengal and certain NE states where cow slaughter and sale of beef is not banned.

The notification attracted flak for catering to cow vigilantism and also had the effect of a rise in the number of cattle that were past their use as dairy animals as they could not be sold at fairs. The rules needed declarations by seller and buyer that the animal was not being taken for slaughter.

Diluted draft disappoints animal rights activists

The notification was soon followed by a realisation in the government that the rules will make even transport of cattle more difficult and end up displeasing agriculturalists and dairy farmers. But it has taken the environment ministry close to a year to finally delete the problematic clause.

The regulation on livestock market under the May 2017 rules was opposed by states where beef is not banned even as it caused discomfort elsewhere. Though the environment ministry clarified that the notification was not about a ban on slaughter as animals could still be procured for this purpose directly from farms, the matter reached various high courts and was seen to be clearly restrictive.

The Madurai bench of the Madras HC had stayed the notification on livestock market rules. The SC then stayed the rules in July last year. Such regulations, however, have now been removed from the new draft, which will be notified as ‘rules’ after analysing stakeholders’ comments later this month.

Though the draft deals with cruelty aspect of animal sales and specifies ‘prohibited practices’, including certain ‘do’s and don’ts’, it dilutes many provisions that were there in the May 23, 2017 rules for not only regulating livestock markets but introducing best practices to minimise cruelty and trace sources of procuring animals to weed out unhealthy ones.

Animal rights activists are disappointed with the proposed rules and have flagged many shortcomings in the diluted version of the draft. “The draft fails to address the common cruelties animals are subject to in livestock markets across the country,” said Humane Society International-India’s Shreya Paropkari.

Meat traders and exporters in UP have welcomed the government's latest move. “It is good that the government has at last understood the importance of this trade and made much needed modifications in the last year’s rules. Because of the stringent rules, the disposal of economically unviable cattle has become a huge problem today,” said Al Saqib Exports MD Shahid Akhlaq. Hafiz Imran Yaqub, MD of Al Fahim Meatex Pvt Ltd, said: “This modification was the need of the hour. The ban was severely affecting the milk industry.”

Stray cattle

Owners of cattle straying on roads get 3 months’ jail/ 2019

May 29, 2019: The Times of India

Owners of cattle straying on roads get 3 months’ jail


In a first, two cattle-rearers were sentenced to three months in jail for letting out their bovines free on public road posing danger to commuters.

A court of additional sessions judge M K Chauhan convicted cattle owners Alpesh Rabari and Hitesh Rabari on Tuesday and also fined them Rs 5,000 each.

The duo was booked at Manjalpur police station in July 2017 when a team of Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) had found around 25 to 30 cows on the middle of the road between Tulsidham crossroads and Jupiter crossroads.The VMC team approached police and lodged a complaint under IPC section 308 — attempting to commit culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

The police arrested the duo and filed a chargesheet against them in the court here. During the hearing, assistant government pleader Smruti Trivedi argued that besides posing risk to commuters’ lives, the animals owned by Alpesh and Hitesh also dirtied the roads.

Nine witnesses and material witnesses were also examined during the hearing and their testimonies against the duo were upheld by the court which convicted Alpesh and Hitesh.

Man jailed for living cattle stray\ 2022

Saeed Khan, Nov 22, 2022: The Times of India

Ahmedabad : After the Gujarat HC demanded stern action to curb the menace of stray cattle on the streets, one Prakash Jairam Desai has been sentenced to six months in jail for leaving his cows loose on the road and thus endangering people’s lives.

Additional sessions judge Saranga Vyas also handed down a two-year sentence to the man for threatening a party of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s cattle nuisance control department (CNCD) which had gone to impound stray cattle. 
Desai, a resident of Shahpur, was booked on July 27, 2019 when a CNCD team found five animals near Shantipura Chhapra, outside Shahpur Darwaja. Desai confronted members ofthe team and intimidated them. He even threatened to get them caught by anti-corruption bureau officials.

Desai was charged under IPC Sections 308, 289, 186 and 506(2), under the Gujarat Police Act and under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The prosecution examined six witnesses before the trial court. Two panch witnesses did not support the prosecution’s case because they belonged to Desai’s community, the court noted.

However, members of the raiding party testified against Desai. As nobody was injured by Desai’s cattle straying onto the road, the court said IPC Sec 308 would not apply. However, he was found guilty of letting his animals loose on the roads without making proper arrangements and putting people’s lives in danger.

See also

Cattle: India

Cows: India

Cows and the law: India

Cow slaughter: India

Military history: India

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