Assam: A Cattle Preservation Bill 2021 has been tabled in the Assam Assembly as Himanta Biswa Sarma-led government proposes to ban cattle slaughter and sale of beef in areas where Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs are in a majority.
The new proposed law – Assam Cattle Preservation Bill 2021- also seeks to prohibit the sale and purchase of beef in places that fall within a five-kilometer radius of a temple, reports said.
The law, when enacted, will also make transportation of cattle from one district to another and outside Assam illegal in the absence of proper documentation.
the Chief Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma, after introducing the bill, said the “new legislation seeks to ensure that permission for slaughter wasn’t granted in areas that are predominantly inhabited by Hindu, Jain, Sikh and other non-beef-eating communities or places that fall within five-kilometre radius of a temple, satra, and any other institution as may be prescribed by the authorities”.
The Chief Minister further said that exemptions might be granted for certain religious occasions.
The new legislation also seeks to prohibit a person from slaughtering cattle unless he has obtained the necessary certificate issued by the registered veterinary officer of a particular area.
According to the bill, the veterinary officer will issue a certificate only if he is of the opinion that the bovine, not being a cow, is over 14 years of age.
A cow, heifer, or calf may be slaughtered only it is permanently incapacitated, it said, adding that duly licensed or recognized slaughterhouses will be allowed to butcher cattle.
According to the bill, permission is not needed to transport cattle to and from registered animal markets for the purpose of sale and purchase within a district. Also, there will be no restriction on ferrying cattle for agricultural purposes within a district.
Offences under the new proposed law will be non-bailable. Those found guilty of violating the law shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years or a fine that may vary between Rs 3 lakh and Rs five lakh or both. If someone convicted under the new law is found guilty of the same or a related offense the second time, the punishment will be doubled.
The legislation shall extend to the whole of the state and the term ‘cattle’ shall apply to bulls, bullocks, cows, heifer, calves, male and female buffaloes, and buffalo calves.