This comes after the Centre said that public protests have made the govt rethink the cattle slaughter rules.

SC orders nationwide stay on Centres new cattle slaughter rules for 3 monthsPTI
news Cattle Slaughter Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - 12:37

In what will come as a relief for cattle traders across the country, the Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the central government’s new rules banning cattle slaughter for trade. 

Extending the stay given by the Madras High Court on the slaughter ban rules, the Supreme Court said that livelihoods cannot be subjected to uncertainties. The court has now extended the stay given by the Madras High Court, to the entire country.

This order came after the Centre told the court that they will take a relook at the rules. According to reports, the Centre told the court that public protests across the country have forced them to rethink the slaughter ban rules.

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on May 30 had stayed the Centre’s new cattle trade rules for four weeks.

The court had then observed that it was an individual’s right to choose his food, while hearing a public interest litigation against the Centre’s recent notification imposing strict restrictions on cattle trade and slaughter across the country.

In the PIL, Madurai-based activist and lawyer S Selvagomathy challenged the constitutional validity of Rules 22(b)(iii) and 22(e) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules 2017 notified by the Centre, The Hindu reported.

The petitioner further argued that according to the PCA Act, the Centre had no authority to ban the sale of animals in a market for slaughter. She further argued that the new notifications offended the Right to Freedom of Religion and the Protection of Interests of Minorities guaranteed in the Constitution.

In May this year, the central government had notified new rules with regard to the buying and selling of cattle, and banned the sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets. Called the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2016, the new rules were formulated under the PCA Act of 1960.

While the government didn’t technically ban cattle slaughter across the country, they made the slaughter of bulls, bullocks, cows, buffaloes etc. extremely difficult.

Since its introduction, the central government had  faced stiff opposition from more than one state government and other parties in the opposition.

The Left-led Kerala government had severely criticised the move saying it is undemocratic, and termed it as an effort to “further the RSS agenda in the country” and had approached the Kerala High Court.

The Kerala CM had also written to all state governments seeking support over the matter.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee had also spoken against the law, calling it overbearing on the part of the Centre and an effort by the BJP-led government to undermine the federal structure of the country.

There were spontaneous protests in Kerala over the issue, with beef fests held across the state in May.

Similar protests were held by students of IIT Madras in Chennai as well.