Meghalaya takes Centre's cattle ban by the horns
Assembly passes resolution opposing notification
The chief minister said beef was an "integral part" of the dietary habit of the tribals of Meghalaya. File pic for representation
The Meghalaya Assembly yesterday unanimously passed a resolution opposing the Centre's notification banning the sale and purchase of cattle at animal markets for slaughter and demanded its withdrawal as it would "impact the economy of the state and the food habit of its people".
Cutting across political lines, the members of the Assembly supported the resolution tabled by Chief Minister Mukul Sangma.
"This House takes a strong note of the shortcomings and infirmities in these Rules (Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Regulation of Livestock Markets Rules, 2017), as notified and resolves that the same may be withdrawn by Government of India with an immediate effect, so as to maintain the federal and secular character of our
Constitution or be faced with a situation where the law prohibits some activity, while the everyday-life practices it on a large-scale due to harsh economic realities, a situation surely to be avoided at all costs," the resolution read.
Sangma, introducing the resolution, alleged that the notification was "designed to affect" the people of the north-east in general and Meghalaya in particular.
Integral part of diet
The chief minister said beef was an "integral part" of the dietary habit of the tribals of Meghalaya and its demand in the state in 2015-2016 was 23,634 metric tonnes. Beef production in the state was only 12,834 MT and 10,800 MT was purchased from outside, he added.
The prohibition on the sale and purchase of cattle at animal markets for the purpose of slaughter would affect the livelihood of over 5.7 lakh (79%) households, which were currently involved in cattle-rearing, he added.
'Beef ban bashing banquet'
Hundreds of people at Aizawl yesterday participated in the "Beef ban bashing banquet" organised by a local group to protest the Centre's ban on sale of cattle for slaughter at animal markets. The organisers of the 'Beef Ban Bashing Banquet', a social network group called 'Zolife' said they are protesting against the Centre's attempt to "restrict" their rights to eat what they want.
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