ALL India Agricultural Workers Union joins the All India Kisan Sabha, All India Democratic Women’s Association, Dalit Shoshan Mukti Manch, CPI(M) and CPI in protesting against the government of India’s restrictions on selling of cattle from livestock markets all over the country to abattoirs.
In a statement issued on June 9, AIAWU said that this restriction on sales will increase the number of cattle roaming all over the country, destroying a large part of the crops in fields as farmers are unable to feed those that can no longer provide milk. The sale of such cattle goes a long way in paying for and feeding new cattle and should not be stopped.
AIAWU welcomed the special session called by the Kerala assembly and the passing of a “substantive motion” calling for the repeal of the centre’s new rules under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals legislation and ending the damage it does to the farmers, to the meat and leather trade, affecting the employment and livelihood of nearly one crore Indians.
This legislation targets the local meat market in the interests of a handful of meat traders, preventing the dalits, minorities and tribal people from accessing cheap protein in their diet when half the underfed people in the world are Indians, mostly from these sections of the population.
AIAWU has demanded more stringent laws to be passed against the fraudulent gaushala owners and extortionist gau rakshaks who are killing innocent cattle traders and transporters as well as starving thousands of cows to death in BJP ruled states like Rajasthan. It demanded that if the government wishes to control indiscriminate cow slaughter in the north, where beef is not eaten generally, it can do so by buying up such cows and cattle and house them in government owned cattle pounds instead, without burdening farmers further. At the same time it goes against the principle of federalism and rights of the states and different communities that are dependent on various aspects of cattle trade. This measure therefore is harmful to the progress of our rural economy and damages social cohesion in our society.
AIAWU demands that these rules be changed and that the central government stop its attempts to create confusion among the people by constantly passing new rules and regulations contrary to the provisions of the Indian constitution.