Assam Cattle Preservation Bill: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has introduced the Assam Cattle Protection Bill, 2021 in the state assembly. The Assam chief minister introduced the bill in the assembly on the first day of the budget session, seeking to bring a cow protection law in the state on the lines of similar laws in BJP-ruled states like Uttar Pradesh. The new law includes legal provisions to regulate the slaughter, consumption, transportation of cattle in the state.
According to the Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021, it is also proposed to make illegal transportation of cattle from one district to another district and out of Assam in the absence of proper documentation. The chief minister said there was a need to enact a new law and repeal the erstwhile Assam Cattle Protection Act, 1950 which lacked adequate legal provisions to regulate the slaughter, consumption and transport of cattle.
According to the Bill, no person shall take, from any place in any other State, to any place within the State any cattle, the slaughter of which is punishable under this Act. The competent authority may issue permits for the transport of cattle for actual agricultural or animal husbandry purposes in accordance with the rules made under this Act. Transport of cattle shall be carried out in the manner prescribed by the Central Government rules governing the transport of cattle under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
The bill proposes to ban the slaughter of cattle in places other than slaughterhouses, prohibit the sale of beef and beef products. No person shall directly or indirectly sell or offer or expose for sale or purchase beef or beef products in any form except as permitted by the competent authority to do so. The new law aims to ensure that the slaughter of cattle is not allowed in areas where mainly Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and non-beef-eating communities live or where they are located under a temple and any other institution designated by the authorities. Comes within a radius of five kilometres. However, exemption can be given for some religious occasions.
Violation will be punished
Violation of the bill can result in imprisonment of at least 3 years. This period can be up to 8 years. The injunction shall entail payment of fine which shall not be less than Rs 3 lakh and may extend to Rs 5 lakh or with both. The bill also proposes to set up an institution, including a gaushala, for the care of cattle. The Bill states that the State Government may establish or direct any local authority or society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1960 or any Central Act or any association or organization to establish an institution including Gaushalas at such places as may be prescribed by the State Government. Care may be deemed necessary. Cattle will be kept there.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “Article 48 of the Constitution of India which establishes one of the Directive Principles of Policy of the State, stipulates that the State shall endeavor to organize agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and In particular, the protection and improvement of cows and calves and other milch and weight-lifting cattle breeds, shall take steps to prohibit the slaughter.’
Cattle are revered in our society from time immemorial.
Respecting our deep-rooted belief system & agricultural necessity, we’ve tabled the Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021 in Assembly to regulate slaughter, consumption & transportation of cattle. https://t.co/M1RfYmbps7
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) July 12, 2021
On the other hand, Assam Water Resources Minister Piyush Hazarika said that the Cattle Protection Bill has been introduced in the Assembly. Piyush Hazarika said that the bill will be discussed and debated in the assembly and during the debate all the things of the bill will come out. No unconstitutional provision has been made in this bill.
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