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India tightens meat industry laws amid fierce protests

Michael Safi: ‘India’s environment ministry announced new restrictions, banning livestock including cows, buffaloes and camels from being sold for slaughter at animal markets. The rules, which the government says are in the interests of animal welfare, also prohibit selling livestock for entertainment and implement minimum standards for animal housing and transportation.Animals for consumption can still be purchased privately, including cows in the few states where their slaughter is legal, but industry leaders say about 90% of the trade takes place through animal markets… Cows are revered by most Hindus. The prime minister, Narendra Modi, ran for office in 2014 on a platform of banning their slaughter nationally. A number of states have bolstered punishments for crimes against cows since his election, including Gujarat, where killing the animal can earn a life sentence… Though restrictions on beef are in place across much of India, states such as West Bengal, Kerala and in the north-east of the country consider the meat a staple, even among Hindus’. SOURCE…

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