End to cattle curbs: on withdrawal of sale ban –

Good sense appears to have prevailed at last. With a fresh set of draft rules to replace last year’s poorly conceived ones, the Centre has sought to withdraw the ban on sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets. The draft rules are now open for comments and suggestions. When the Union Ministry for Environment, Forests and Climate Change notified the rules under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act on May 23, 2017, there was concern that in the name of preventing cruelty to animals and regulating livestock markets the government was surreptitiously throttling the cattle trade and furthering the BJP’s cow protection agenda. The rules were criticised for restricting legitimate animal trade and interfering with dietary habits. The new draft makes a welcome departure from the earlier rules, seeking to provide great relief to buyers of animals from cumbersome paperwork and procedural requirements. Some distance-specific conditions to curb inter-State and cross-border movement of animals are to be dropped, as also rules barring animal markets within 25 km of a State border and 50 km of the international boundary. The definition of ‘animal markets’ will no more include any lairage adjoining a slaughter-house, thereby removing curbs on the sale of animals in a resting place in the vicinity of a market. The draft retains good provisions in the earlier notification barring cruelty in the treatment and transport of animals. The notification had set off a storm last year, with some Chief Ministers stridently opposing it on the ground that regulating livestock trade was essentially a State subject. Even assuming that the Centre had jurisdiction under the law against animal cruelty to notify the rules, it was obvious that only the States could enforce them. With the Supreme Court expanding a stay granted by the Madras High Court into a nation-wide bar on the rules, and some States taking a clear stand that they would not implement the regulations, the notification was a non-starter. There was further concern whether the regulations would adversely impact poor villagers, as animal markets are predominantly in the countryside. There was an impression that under the guise of stiff regulations, the Centre was making it impossible for cattle, a term that covers cows, buffalo, bulls and camels, to be slaughtered even for food, despite the PCA Act recognising explicitly that animals can be food for humans. The meat trade, valued at thousands of crores of rupees, would have suffered a serious setback had the rules been implemented. Any transformation from a tendency to advance pet causes to an approach based on economic and legal considerations would be a welcome change. Good governance is not only about regulating human and economic activities, but also about avoiding perceptions of sectarianism.


1) Prevailed

Meaning: Be widespread or current in a particular area or at a particular time.

Example: “a friendly atmosphere prevailed among the crowds”

Synonyms: Exist, Obtain

2) Conceived

Meaning: To invent a plan or an idea.

Example: He conceived the plot for this film while he was still a student.

Synonyms: Invent, Create

3) Surreptitiously

Meaning: In a way that attempts to avoid notice or attention; secretively.

Example: “Mary surreptitiously slipped from the room”

4) Throttling

Meaning: To prevent something from succeeding.

Example: The reduction in funds is throttling the development of new programmes.

5) Dietary

Meaning: Relating to or provided.

Example: “dietary advice for healthy skin and hair”

6) Cumbersome

Meaning: Slow or complicated and therefore inefficient.

Example: “organizations with cumbersome hierarchical structures”

Synonyms: Complicated, Complex

Antonyms: Straightforward, Efficient

7) Lairage

Meaning: A place where cattle or sheep may be rested on the way to market or slaughter.

8) Vicinity

Meaning: The area near or surrounding a particular place.

Example: “the number of people living in the immediate vicinity was small”

Synonyms: Locality, Sector

9) Barring

Meaning: Except for; if not for.

Example: “barring accidents, we should win”

Synonyms: Excepting, Excluding

10) Cruelty

Meaning: Cruel behaviour or attitudes.

Example: “he has treated her with extreme cruelty”

Synonyms: Brutality, Ferocity

Antonyms: Compassion, Mercy

11) Stridently

Meaning: In an extremely forceful way.

Example: “I stridently opposed the policies of the government”

12) Nation-wide

Meaning: Throughout the whole nation.

Example: “a nationwide hunt”

Synonyms: National, General

13) Non-starter

Meaning: An idea, plan, or person with no chance of success.

Example: The proposal was a non-starter from the beginning because there was no possibility of funding.

14) Predominantly

Meaning: Mainly; for the most part.

Example: “it is predominantly a coastal bird”

Synonyms: Mainly, Mostly

15) Impression

Meaning: An idea or opinion of what something or someone is like.

Example: “his first impressions of Manchester were very positive”

Synonyms: Feeling, Sense

16) Guise

Meaning: An external form, appearance, or manner of presentation, typically concealing the true nature of something.

Example: “he visited in the guise of an inspector”

Synonyms: Likeness, Semblance

17) Setback

Meaning: A reversal or check in progress.

Example: “a serious setback for the peace process”

Synonyms: Problem, Difficulty

Antonyms: Breakthrough

18) Tendency

Meaning: An inclination towards a particular characteristic or type of behaviour.

Example: “for students, there is a tendency to socialize in the evenings”

Synonyms: Propensity, Proclivity

19) Perceptions

Meaning: A belief or opinion, often held by many people and based on how things seem.

Example: We have to change the public’s perception that money is being wasted.

20) Sectarianism

Meaning: (a person) strongly supporting a particular religious group and not willing to accept other beliefs.

Example: He called on terrorists on both sides of the sectarian divide to end the cycle of violence.

Synonyms: Followers