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TOI Editorial: NaMo's cattle law will hurt farmers and threaten jobs

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TOI Editorial: NaMo's cattle law will hurt farmers and threaten jobs Empty TOI Editorial: NaMo's cattle law will hurt farmers and threaten jobs

Post by Guest Mon May 29, 2017 11:00 pm

Last week the environment ministry introduced rules to regulate cattle trade which will effectively kill the buffalo meat industry. This will be the immediate impact. Subsequently, it will increase already high levels of stress on agriculture as livestock trade – on which draconian restrictions will be placed – is an essential component of the agrarian economy. This law will have a harmful impact on farmers and industries which use livestock products as input. In addition, it undermines federalism as it encroaches on the domain of states...

Moreover, Article 246 (3) of the Constitution gives states exclusive powers to legislate on preservation of cattle. By encroaching on this domain, we are headed towards greater friction and contestation between Centre and states. To make matters worse, vigilante groups which have functioned unchecked may choke even the limited livestock trade permitted by the new rule. Irrationality in laws promotes overall levels of irrationality in society.

The new rule will not be effective right away. Therefore, the government should annul it before adverse economic and political consequences (including for BJP) show up. The argument that the rules aim to prevent cruelty to animals is unconvincing – they will in fact promote cruelty to animals when farmers are forced to resort to underhand means to dispose of unproductive cattle. The Indian economy today produces few jobs relative to the number of young people coming into labour markets. It is, therefore, imperative that the government not introduce rules that destroy even jobs that exist currently.


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