Kerala to hold special cabinet meet to counter new cattle slaughter law

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Thiruvananthapuram, May 31 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday termed the new central law on cattle trade and slaughter as an infringement on the rights of the state government and has called for a special cabinet meeting on Thursday to discuss various measures, including the possibility of convening a meeting of all chief ministers to discuss the issue.

The move comes as the Kerala High Court on Wednesday observed that there was nothing in the new central law on cattle trade and slaughter that takes away the rights of people with regard to eating beef.

Addressing reporters after the weekly cabinet meeting here, Vijayan said that the move by the Centre is nothing but infringing on the rights of the state government.

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“The Centre through new laws is trying to wriggle into the rights of the state government. This is a clear violation of democratic principles and will not be allowed,” said Vijayan.

Among the other aspects that will come up before the cabinet on Thursday include the possibility of holding a special session of the Kerala Assembly and also calling a meeting of all the chief minister’s in the country.

Incidentally Vijayan on Monday wrote a strong letter to his counterparts across the country on the new Central law, which he said was a covert attempt to usurp the powers of the state legislature under the guise of a Central Act. He urged on the need to stand together and oppose this anti-federal, anti democratic and anti-secular move as it may mark the beginning of a series of similar measures aimed at destroying the federal democratic fabric and secular culture of our country.

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In a statement issued later, Vijayan said that already there are rules with regard to slaughter of animals that are meant to be consumed as food items.

“The law that came out in 2001 clearly stipulates that such animals when killed should be done without causing pain, and this is being followed strictly,” said Vijayan.

He stated that the new rules includes that cattle should not be sold for other than agricultural purposes, a ban on sale of cattle for a period of six months, cattle should not be sold to slaughter houses, which are totally against the law and not acceptable.

“If this is implemented this is going to directly affect the livelihood of five lakh people in Kerala who are engaged in this line of business. Every year 15 lakh cattle arrive in the state and the meat market accounts for Rs 6,552 crore with a quantity of around 2.5 lakh tonnes,” said Vijayan.

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–IANS

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