Tripura's Left Front government will not implement the new cattle trade and slaughter rules as it is against the interests of the people, a state Minister said on Tuesday.
"The new cattle trade and slaughter rules framed by the central government are against the interest of the people. We will not carry out the new rules," Tripura's Agriculture and Animal Resource Development Minister Aghore Debbarma said.
"The central government is yet to send us the new cattle trade and slaughter rules. They did not consult us on this issue."
"If people are not able to sell their cattle how will they take care of livestock when it turns unnecessary for them? How will it be determined that the cattle being purchased from the market is for slaughtering?" said Debbarma, also the member of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) central committee.
With the aim to prevent cruelty to animals, the union Forest, Environment and Climate Change Ministry last week modified rules making it mandatory to ensure that cattle are not bought or sold at cattle markets for slaughtering. The list of animals includes cows, bulls, buffaloes, heifers, calves as well as camels.
The ruling CPI-M also strongly censured the central government's new cattle slaughter rules.
"A large section of people, specially those from the Dalit community, are engaged in the business of cattle skin. Farmers engaged with cattle business, minorities, those who depend on cattle for their source of protein would be directly affected," CPI-M Tripura state secretary Bijan Dhar told reporters.
"We have a federal democracy in our country. The central government cannot do many things without involving the states. The BJP government unilaterally framed this important cattle trade and slaughter rules," he said.
Dhar, also a CPI-M central committee member, said the central government without studying the gravity of the impact of the new cattle trade and slaughter rules enforced it from a "communal view point".
"According to the new rules, there would be no animal market 50 km from the international border. But in Tripura a large number of weekly cattle and general markets, besides permanent towns, are much less than the 50 km from the India-Bangladesh border," the Left leader said.
"According to government statistics, over 12,000 farmers have committed suicide every year since 2014 due to debt burden and the government's anti-farmer policies. The new cattle trade and slaughter rule would only deepen the crisis of the farmers, and people involved with the cattle and skin trades," he added.
Cow slaughter had so far been allowed in West Bengal, Kerala and parts of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim where a large section of people consume beef.