Indian top court suspends cattle slaughter ban

India's Supreme Court suspended a government law that would ban the trade of cattle for slaughter across the country, officials said.

The law mooted by Indian government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May ordered that cattle trade should be restricted for agricultural purposes (ploughing and dairy production) and not for slaughtering.

For the first time the cattle trade for slaughter cows (which Hindus consider holy), buffaloes and camels would be illegal.

The apex court on Tuesday extended to all of India the Madras high court order that put on hold the federal government's notification banning sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter.

"Needless to say that the interim direction issued by the Madurai bench of the Madras high court shall continue and extend to the entire country," the bench headed by India's Chief Justice J S Khehar said.

The government's order in May triggered protests and was seen as a move to hit poor farmers and India's vibrant meat and leather industry worth over 16 billion U.S. dollars in annual sales.


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