Rajasthan Camel (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Act, 2015

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    In News 

    • Camel herders and cattle rearers in Rajasthan have been carrying out sustained opposition and protests against the Rajasthan Camel Act, 2015, citing loss of livelihood and business.

    About the Rajasthan Camel Act, 2015

    • Aim: To provide for the prohibition of the slaughter of camels and also to regulate temporary migration or export thereof from Rajasthan in order to safeguard the camel species and also the interests of the public deriving benefit from them.
    • Provisions of law: According to the law, no person shall possess, sell or transport for sale or cause to be sold or transported camel meat or camel meat products in any form.
      • It further adds that no person shall export and cause to be exported any camel himself or through his agent, servant or other person acting on his behalf from any place within the State to any place outside the State for the purposes of slaughter or with the knowledge that it may be or is likely to be slaughtered.
      • The law also regulates temporary migration of camels, saying that a ‘Competent Authority’ may issue a special permit in the prescribed manner for their export from Rajasthan for agricultural or dairy farming purposes or for participation in an animal fair
    • As per the act, a competent authority means the collector of a district and includes any other officer who may be authorised on this behalf by the state government by notification in the official gazette.

    Objectives behind the passage of the law 

    • It was passed in 2015 citing that the animal is endangered and in need of initiation of sincere efforts for its conservation and protection.
    • It has also been observed that a large number of camels are transported or carried out of Rajasthan to other states for the purpose of slaughter. 
    • The recurrent famine and scarcity conditions in the State tend to increase this menace all the more. 
    • The existing laws are not sufficient to tackle this problem.
    • Therefore, the Rajasthan government felt the need to bring the law after taking into consideration ‘the social, cultural and economic usefulness and contribution of camels.’

    Implications of Law 

    • People from the Raika and Raibari communities, which have been rearing camels for generations, say that the process of getting permission to transport camels outside the state as per the 2015 Act often takes months. 
      • This has resulted in a dip in purchasers from other states outside Rajasthan, who were earlier the primary customers who purchased camels from cattle fairs.
    • Ever since the law was enacted, the difficulty in finding customers has resulted in a dire economic situation for camel herders.
    • As a result, in the last few years, there have been sustained protests by camel rearers, with their worry being accelerated by the fact that the camel population in Rajasthan have been consistently decreasing.

    Source: IE