- Pinarayi Vijayan has written to PM Narendra Modi on the new ruling
- The state will implement changes to existing rules after PM Modi's reply
- Cattle slaughter had so far been allowed in Kerala, Bengal, NE states
"Absence of efforts by the Centre to take states into confidence has severe detrimental impact on democracy... In Kerala and many other states, vast majority consume beef. Such regulations being implemented on the eve of Ramzan will certainly make some sections of the community see this as a direct attack on them," the letter says, according to sources.
The state is expected to implement any changes to existing rules only after a response to the Chief Minister's letter.
If they have banned the slaughter of cattle today, they will ban the consumption of fish tomorrow, Mr Vijayan retorted. "New livestock regulation law will rob lakhs of jobs, cripple leather industry. Primarily an attack on our poor, dalits & farmers," he said in a tweet.
The youth wing of CPM, the Student Federation of India (SFI) has organised beef fests across Kerala, in over 200 centres, as a mark of protest against the environment ministry's new rule that came into effect yesterday.
Kerala's Animal Husbandry Minister K Raju while speaking to NDTV said, "Central government can't infringe upon state rights. Such regulations are a huge loss and burden for farmers, who often sell the old or injured cattles. We will challenge this."
The All India Meat and Livestock Exporters Association agreed and said the decision will badly hit livelihoods. "It is the unproductive cattle that arrives in large numbers for sale as their maintenance cost per day is quite high. The high-yielding milching animals rarely arrive for sale," spokesperson of the association, Fauzan Alavi, said in Lucknow.
Earlier, there were no restrictions on the way cattle could be used -- for dairy, farming or abattoirs. Cow slaughter had so far been allowed in West Bengal, Kerala and parts of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim where beef or buff consumption is a food habit. However, after the order buyers will have to give an undertaking that the animals will not be slaughtered.
Union minister Harsh Vardhan said the rule is meant to "regulate the animal market". But State PWD Minister G Sudhakaran demanded to know if such decisions are being enforced simply through an order. "Has Parliament taken the states into confidence or has there been any discussion with them? These things won't work in Kerala," he said.
Kerala's Agriculture Minister VS Sunil Kumar also called the ruling "unacceptable and unconstitutional". "We will seek legal resort against this. The Centre has taken undue advantage of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and has misused it," he said.