Supreme Court of India suspends ban on sale of cattle for slaughter

The Supreme Court of India yesterday, July 11, ruled in favour of suspending a ban on the sale of cattle for slaughter.

It is believed the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will now amend and reissue the order, which was originally made in May.

The decision will come as a blow to the country’s mostly Hindu population, but will be a boon for Muslims who faced the increasing threat of a nationwide ban after the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014.

Most states across the country had already prohibited the sale of cattle for slaughter, despite India’s beef exports being worth $3.9 billion (€3.4 billion) a year.

Muslims, who account for about 14% of India’s total population of 1.3 billion, dominate the country’s meat and leather industries. They have come under violent attack in recent years for their involvement in the cattle trade because the cow is sacred under Hinduism.

The Modi government had been criticised for implementing the ban, which was seen as favouring the country’s Hindu community.

It was the Muslim All India Jamiatul Quresh Action Committee that lodged the petition with the Supreme Court. The group’s President, Abdul Faheem Qureshi, told Reuters: “We have to now restore the confidence of cattle traders that they can resume their business. It’s a victory for us.”

One of the ways the government could circumvent the ruling is by exempting buffalo from the ban – the animal is not considered sacred and makes up the bulk of the country’s beef exports.

Irish exports

Meanwhile on home shores, around 3,000 Irish bulls weighing 220-330kg were exported to Turkey in the early hours of Friday morning, July 7.

The latest consignment was organised by the Waterford-based exporting company, Purcell Brothers. Hauliers working on behalf of the firm were busy transporting bulls from the company’s base to Waterford Port last Thursday.