The Kerala High Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition challenging the Centre's new ban on the sale of cattle for slaughter from animal markets across the country. 

The Court observed that the new rules did not actually prohibit the slaughter of cattle, but only banned the sale of cattle in animal markets. The Court suggested that people could, if they so wanted, sell their cattle outside these markets.

"You sell it from your house," the court said, noting that in its view, those protesting against the 'ban' had misunderstood the new rules and added that if the people chose to read the rules, there would not be any cause for tension.

Also read: Slaughter ban: Kerala to convene meeting of all CMs

The petition was filed by T.G. Sunil, State general secretary of the Youth Congress. In the petition, it was argued that the preservation of cattle, and other related issues, came under the State list, and hence under the preview of the respective states, and not the Centre. 

The Environment Ministry has put restrictions on the sale of cattle and has banned the slaughter of cows across India.

Also read: Slaughter ban protest: Vegetarian Kerala MLA eats beef after 19 years [Video]

The Ministry issued a gazette notification ‘Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017’. Accordingly, the cows cannot be sold unless the person has a written document furnished by the animal market committee that the cow is being sold or purchased for agricultural purpose only and not for slaughter.

The classification of cattle also includes ‘bovine animals’ – bulls, cows, buffaloes, steers, heifers, calves and camels. The notification states that ‘A marketplace or sale yard or any other premises or place to which animals are brought from other places and exposed for sale or auction and includes any lairage adjourning a market or a slaughterhouse.