The Centre has withdrawn the proposed draft of the Live-stock and Live-stock Product (Importation and Exportation) Bill, 2023.
GS II: Polity and Governance
Dimensions of the Article:
- About Draft Livestock and Livestock Products Bill
- Reasons for introducing a new law
- What is new in the proposed draft?
- Criticism surrounding the proposed draft Livestock and Livestock Products (Importation and Exportation) Bill
About Draft Livestock and Livestock Products Bill
- The Draft Livestock and Livestock Products Bill is a proposed legislation that aims to replace the existing Live-stock Importation Act, 1898, and Live-stock (Amendment) Act, 2001.
- It provides guidelines for the import and export of live animals and has raised concerns among animal welfare advocates.
- The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD), under the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying, has prepared the draft bill and released it for public feedback.
Key points about the draft bill:
- Purpose: The draft bill seeks to update the outdated laws and align them with contemporary requirements and sanitary measures. The existing law is over 125 years old and needs to be adapted to current circumstances.
- Scope of the Bill: The proposed legislation expands the scope of animal import-export, including the inclusion of cats and dogs as “live-stock.” It also allows for the export of live animals, which is a departure from the existing law.
- Changes to State Government Powers: The draft bill reduces some powers of state governments in regulating the import-export of live animals and livestock products.
Reasons for introducing a new law:
- Outdated Law: The existing Live-stock Importation Act, 1898, is outdated and needs to be modernized to reflect current requirements and regulations.
- Alignment with Contemporary Needs: The new law aims to align with prevailing sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures and the Allocation of Business Rules, 1961.
- Previous Amendments: The 2001 amendment introduced livestock products into the scope of the law. It also granted the central government the authority to regulate, restrict, or prohibit the trade of livestock products that may impact human or animal health.
What is new in the proposed draft?
- Expansion of Scope: The draft bill expands the scope of the existing law by including provisions for the regulation of live-stock exports in addition to imports.
- Sections and Definitions: The proposed draft bill consists of 10 sections, whereas the existing law has only 5 sections. It introduces new definitions and expands the definition of live-stock.
- Inclusion of Feline and Canine: The definition of live-stock in the draft bill includes felines and canines, whereas the existing law does not specifically mention them.
- Revised Definition of Live-stock: The draft bill broadens the definition of live-stock to encompass various animal categories, including equines, bovines, caprines, ovines, swines, canines, felines, avian, laboratory animals, aquatic animals, and any other animal specified by the Central Government. This is a departure from the previous definition that primarily focused on horses, kine, camels, sheep, and animals specified by the Central Government.
- Promotion and Development of Exports: The proposed bill empowers the government to make arrangements for the promotion and development of live-stock and live-stock product exports, which is not covered in the existing law.
- Inclusion of Live-stock Products: The draft bill considers live-stock and live-stock products as commodities, which encompass products of live-stock origin, live-stock genetic material, biological products, and pathological material of live-stock origin.
Criticism surrounding the proposed draft Livestock and Livestock Products (Importation and Exportation) Bill:
- Animal Cruelty Concerns: The draft bill has faced strong criticism from animal rights organizations, who argue that allowing the live export of animals will lead to widespread animal abuse and cruelty. They believe that the bill opens the door to potential mistreatment of animals farmed for food and other purposes.
- Negative Impact on Animal Welfare: Critics argue that the bill disregards the well-being of animals by prioritizing trade and economic interests over ethical considerations. The large-scale export of live animals can subject them to stressful and inhumane conditions during transportation and in destination countries.
- Opposition from Animal Protection Groups: The Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO), along with other animal welfare organizations, has expressed strong opposition to the draft bill. They highlight the global trend towards phasing out live animal exports and emphasize the need for stricter animal welfare regulations.
- Environmental Concerns: Critics raise concerns about the environmental impact of live animal exports. The transportation of large numbers of animals over long distances can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and other ecological problems.
- Ethical and Moral Considerations: The proposed bill has sparked debates about the ethical and moral implications of exporting live animals. Some argue that it goes against the principles of compassion and respect for animal life, as well as India’s cultural and religious traditions that value non-violence and protection of animals.
-Source: Indian express