A new rule from the Indian government’s environmental ministry effectively banned the slaughter of cows across the country and heavily restricted the sale of cattle. While the rule is not a “blanket” ban on the slaughter of cows—considered sacred by India’s majority Hindu population—it acts as a squeeze on the Muslim-run meat and leather trades. Under the new rule, only those with proper paperwork proving they will not sell the animal for slaughter are allowed to sell them. The regulation on bovine sales encompasses not just cows, but all “bovine,” including bulls, cows, buffalo, steers, heifers and calves, and camels. The regulation of cattle markets is normally considered a state-by-state affair in India, but the new rules were pushed by the federal government under animal-welfare regulations, which are under the central authority’s domain.
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