With the government’s abrupt notification of new rules for cattle sales at animal markets last week, farmers across India face a grim future. The new rules add a great deal of paperwork to the process and ban the sales of cattle for slaughter. Many fear that the regulations will only embolden cattle vigilantes, who have attacked – and even killed – traders and herders in several parts of the country.

In addition to being used for milk or as beasts of burden for agricultural operations, cattle act as an instrument of insurance for farmers, especially in times of distress. But the new rules hinder their ability to sell their animals quickly during periods of drought or when they are hurt by family tragedies.

This atmosphere of despondency has provided India’s cartoonists a rich source of black humour. Here’s a selection of recent work from across the media.

This one makes a reference to demands that the government should make the cow India’s national animal.

The cow slaughter rules has caused outrage in Kerala, one of the few major states that has never banned bovine slaughter.