India, Stung by Backlash, Plans to Roll Back Restrictions on Cattle Slaughter

Source: The New York Times

NEW DELHI — India’s Supreme Court on Thursday called on the government to answer charges that stringent new restrictions on cattle slaughter violate constitutional rights to freedom of religion and would impose a “huge economic burden” on some of the country’s poorest families.

Taken aback by the protest that greeted the regulations, a top official said the government planned to pre-empt the legal challenge by revising the new rules.

“Whether we change the language or change the rule, we are doing this on an urgent basis,” said the official, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, union minister of the environment. “We want to set this issue to rest. It should take a few days, a few weeks, not long.”

The rules, announced late last month as part of an act to punish animal cruelty, require anyone selling livestock, which includes buffalo and camels, to produce a written guarantee that animals would not be slaughtered.

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