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The High Court order came in the wake of protests against the move from Kerala to Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

The Madras High Court’s Madurai bench on Tuesday stayed the Central government’s decision to ban the sale of cattle for slaughter at animal markets. The stay has been imposed for a month and the court directed the Central and state governments to file their replies within a month.

The stay came from the division bench of Justice MV Muralidharan and Justice CV Karthikeyan on a PIL filed by Selvagomathi and Asik Elahi Baba

The chief ministers of Kerala and West Bengal on Monday announced their decision to challenge the ban in court saying the Narendra Modi government was infringing on states’ rights.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote to his counterparts in other states, terming the decision as a “drastic measure” and added it was taken surpassing elected representatives and public debate.

Framing rules for cow slaughter and beef consumption in India comes under states’ powers. But the Union environment ministry’s new rule under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act is applicable across India.

Reports said the Centre is planning to revise the rule by excluding buffaloes from the definition of cattle following the protests.

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