A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar expressed concern over decreasing population of indigenous breeds of cattle in the country and directed the Delhi environment secretary to file a compliance report within two weeks with complete details.
"Let the environment secretary file a compliance report within two weeks... Rejoinder, if any, be filed within two weeks thereafter," the bench said and posted the matter for next hearing to April 25.
The order came while hearing a plea filed by lawyer Ashwini Kumar who had moved the tribunal against the "looming threat of extinction of indigenous breeds of cattle" in the country and sought directions to the Centre to ensure that cattle are not slaughtered.
The tribunal had earlier issued a notice to Agriculture Ministry on the plea also seeking a nationwide ban on the slaughter of indigenous breeds of cattle.
Kumar had claimed a steep decline in the indigenous cow population and said that Indian cattle were being replaced across the country by exotic and cross-bred cows imported from Europe, Australia and the US.
"Even developed countries are taking steps to preserve diversity in livestock and taking substantial steps to preserve and conserve their domestic livestock species," the plea had said.
Kumar had blamed government authorities at the national, state and local levels for being a silent spectator to this extinction.