Cattle Politics - Eastern Mirror
Monday, July 15, 2024

Cattle Politics

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jun 14, 2017 11:04 pm

Of all the policies, some of which were quite extraordinary, that the present BJP led NDA government has introduced since coming to power in 2014 the notification on banning the selling of cattle for slaughter at animal markets tops the list. The notification based on cruelty to animals not only cover cows but also its progeny. The progeny being the bull, bullocks, heifer and calves. The new notification now covers not only cows and its progeny but almost all cattle including buffaloes and camels.
The cow vigilantism in the country that saw an increase after the current government took over has brought out a notification based on the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 to somehow legitimise ban of cow slaughter. In also indirectly encourages the acts of the vigilantes. Although the notification with its array of rules can be purely linked to the prevention of cruelty to animals in letter the timing of the notification implies differently. The notification can be seen as populist policy of the government especially to appease the people in the cow belt and also parts of Western India. However its impact in the economy of the country that is the highest exporter of beef is yet to be ascertained. Analysts have already given their verdicts that it is going to affect the rural agrarian economy of the country very badly.
Unlike the developed countries and also some of the developing countries that have well organised cattle industry the cattle industry in India is unorganised to a large extent. Cattle in India is mostly reared in the open without any definite area or enclosures that roam freely even along highways almost like a public property. In such a scenario, bringing in stringent rules similar to the developed nations purely based on prevention of cruelty to animals is almost next to impossible. The agrarian economy of the country is dependent on rains and dated methods of farming unlike other countries that were successful in even converting deserts to productive farms using modern technology. The new rules will only hit the farms hard with some states already facing drought like situations. Farmers who depend on bullocks for farming will hereafter have no avenues to sell aged bullocks that are mostly sold off for slaughter to enable them to buy new cattle.
Therefore, the new rule will not only discourage farmers who rear cattle for slaughter but also those that depend on it to aid in farming. It will surely impact the small dairy farmers too since the new rules will hamper in disposing unproductive cows and unwanted bulls. So on the flip side the government’s new policy might also be to have only an organised sector in the diary, beef and tannery industry because only corporations will be able to abide by most of the rules that are in the notification. The use of modern technology instead of cattle as an aid in farming might also see an increase since keeping cattle is now a liability. Moreover, if the rule has to be strictly followed, even among the devotees not everyone will hereafter be in a position to rear cows as defined by the rules. Although it might have brought cheers to the cow vigilantes initially, it is the big corporations who will be having the last laugh. However, can rural India pull  through this current uncertainty that has been created and will the Law allow this rule to continue is to be seen in the near future.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jun 14, 2017 11:04:04 pm
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