Bengaluru: The State Government has decided to promulgate an Ordinance to bring into effect the much-debated Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill (2020), following its passage in the State Legislative Assembly but blocked by Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress members in the State Legislative Council on Dec.10.
This was decided at the State Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister B.S.Yediyurappa here yesterday. The Bill would be now sent to Governor Vajubhai R. Vala for his assent.
“Our Government is firm on protecting cows so the Bill had been implemented through an Ordinance. In a few days, it will be a law. So, there will be no more cattle slaughter in the State,” remarked Animal Husbandry Minister Prabhu Chavan.
Briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J.C. Madhuswamy said that “slaughter houses will continue to function and beef consumption will not be prohibited. The anti-cow slaughter law is not new. We have had it for decades. Previously, there was a ban on slaughter of cows until the age of thirteen. We have just extended it with the intention that older cows should not be abandoned. Since the prohibition does not extend to buffaloes, there is no ban on beef consumption,” he clarified.
He said there was confusion in the earlier law with not much scope for litigation on the age of the cows. The new legislation would put an end to such confusion. The Government was also looking at building goshalas to ensure that aged cows that are not used for milching, do not become a burden on the farmer.
The 2020 Bill was a harsher version of a law passed by the BJP in 2010 during Yediyurappa regime. It aimed at banning all forms of cattle slaughter by recommending stringent penalties for violators. The Bill was shelved in 2013 when the Congress Government led by Chief Minister Siddharamaiah came to power, since it failed to get the Governor’s nod.
The Congress had then reverted to the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Preservation of Animals Act, 1964, which banned the killing of any cow or calf of she-buffalo. It, however, had certain relaxations like it allowed the slaughter of bullock, buffalo-male or female if it was certified by a competent authority to be above the age of 12 years, incapacitated for breeding or deemed sick.
The Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2020 proposes a maximum of seven years’ imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 5 lakh for the offenders. It seeks a total ban on the slaughter of cows in the State and provides for stringent punishment to those who indulge in smuggling, illegal transportation, atrocities on cows and slaughtering them.
‘Stopping illegal slaughtering is our priority’
“Cow is the root of India’s culture, faith and farmers’ livelihood. All of us must rise above politics to help the growth of the State’s cattle assets. But, opposing this Bill for political reasons and misleading the public is intolerable. As many as 2.38 lakh cows are slaughtered every year. Even a day’s delay would lead to slaughter of 662 cows. If it continues at this pace, we aren’t far away from a time when cows will only be read about in books. Stopping illegal transportation and slaughtering is our priority.” – Prabhu Chavan, Animal Husbandry Minister
‘I will eat beef, who are you to question?’
Strongly opposing promulgating an Ordinance to implement the Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill (2020), Leader of Opposition in the State Legislative Assembly Siddharamaiah said he will eat the cow meat (beef) and none can stop him.
Speaking at the 136th Foundation Day of Congress Party at Congress Bhavan in Bengaluru on Monday, he said this Act was not new as it was first brought into effect by Congress in 1964 and the incumbent Government, after making a few changes, was implementing it. “I will eat cow meat and who are you to stop it. Saying this, I am not forcing anyone to eat. My food, my wish. None can dictate terms. We, the Congressmen must be bold enough to tell this to the Government,” Siddharamaiah stated.