Updated: 11 July, 2017 1:35 PM IST

The Supreme Court, on 11 July 2017, stayed the central government’s new rules banning the sale of cattle for slaughter. The apex court said that an earlier stay by the Madras High Court would be implemented nationwide, as “livelihoods cannot be subjected to uncertainties”.

This order came after the Centre told the court that they will reexamine the rules. According to reports, the Centre told the court that public protests across the country have forced them to rethink the slaughter ban rules.

The apex court ordered a three-month stay on the rules, the Times of India reported.

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, on 30 May, stayed the Centre’s cattle trade rules for four weeks.

The court had then observed that it was an individual’s right to choose his food, while hearing a public interest litigation against the Centre’s recent notification imposing strict restrictions on cattle trade and slaughter across the country.

In the PIL, Madurai-based activist and lawyer S Selvagomathy argued that according to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, the Centre had no authority to ban the sale of animals in a market for slaughter. She further argued that the new notifications offended the Right to Freedom of Religion and the Protection of Interests of Minorities guaranteed in the Constitution.

In May, the central government had notified new rules with regard to the buying and selling of cattle, and banned the sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets. Called the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2016, the new rules were formulated under the PCA Act of 1960.

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