Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami on Tuesday said the state government will implement the recent court rulings on the Centre’s notification on cattle sale for slaughter at animal markets, reported PTI. He made the comments during the Assembly session when Opposition parties demanded the state government to spell out its stance on the issue.

Later, the Opposition staged a walkout from the state Assembly. “The chief minister’s reply on the cattle trade regulations is not acceptable,” said Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader MK Stalin, according to ANI. “He should condemn the issue as the Kerala chief minister is doing. He should at least bring a notification regarding the slaughter issue.”

Pleas against the Centre’s new notification are being heard in several courts in the country, including the Supreme Court.

The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court had on May 30 stayed the new notification banning the sale of cattle at animal markets for slaughter. The division bench had ordered that the notification not be implemented for four weeks, and asked the Centre to reply to its notice.

The petition, filed by S Selva Gomathy and Asish Ilaki Baba, had challenged the Constitutional validity of the new rules, under which cattle sold in animal markets can only be used for agricultural and such purposes. The plea argued that the government cannot enforce such a ban based on the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, and that the new rules went against the Constitution’s Right to Freedom of Religion and the Protection of Interests of Minorities.

On May 26, the Centre had issued new rules that require cattle traders to give an undertaking that the animals being sold at markets would only be used for agricultural purposes. Several states have criticised the notification, including Kerala, West Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh, among others, saying it amounts to a ban on beef-eating and that it will affect the cattle trade business.