Watch: Gauri Maulekhi on the Controversial Cattle Trade Ban
Prohibition of cattle slaughter comes with a huge economic liability. (Photo: Abhilash Mallick/<b>The Quint</b>)
Prohibition of cattle slaughter comes with a huge economic liability. (Photo: Abhilash Mallick/The Quint)

Watch: Gauri Maulekhi on the Controversial Cattle Trade Ban

Confused by the government's new rule banning the sale of cattle for slaughter? In conversation with The Quint, animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi explained that the ban has been "misunderstood".

"The rule has been largely misunderstood by either those with political agenda or those who did not bother to read the notification. It clearly says that the cattle markets need to be regulated," she said.

“The process started at the explicit direction of the Supreme Court,” she said, adding, “We can suspect the timing but the fact is the government has been arm-twisted into doing this. I served a contempt of court notice to the ministry for taking too long to notify”.

Linking this notification with cow vigilantism is just an outcome of fertile imagination. The chronology of events leading to this rule being notified clearly dismantles any such conspiracy theory.

The “cattle mafia” funds terror activities, she alleged. “Cattle markets along the international border in West Bengal are a den of disease, crime, and cruelty towards animals. The cattle mafia is also big on funding terror activities as established by a Ministry of Home Affairs report,” she said.

Of course, the cattle mafia is going to object. People who have illegal abattoirs, or interests in them, are going to object. It’s an enterprise worth Rs 30,000 cr in West Bengal alone. The state governments have to implement the rule with utmost sincerity.

When asked about the cattle supply chains, she said, “Agriculture sector not amorphous or disorganised as it seems to the city dwellers. Every village is connected with milk co-operatives and dairy development boards. These supply chains have been used for collection of milk and can be easily used for the collection of dry cattle also”.

Maulekhi also spoke about the ‘dry dairy’ concept. “The Indian Council for Agriculture Research has come out with a concept called dry dairy. Two ideas there are tapping methane emission from cattle using bio-gas plant and vermi-compost, which can make make dry cattle economically viable,” she said.

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