New BJP states pushing for anti-calves slaughtering law

November 20, 2014 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

cow slaughter in indiaMumbai, November 2014: Fulfilling its one of the pre poll assurance to make tough laws to check cattle slaughtering, the newly elected BJP governments in Maharashtra and Haryana have started working on getting long pending bills in this connection approved from the President.

Haryana already has ‘The Punjab Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955’ that applies to Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab states. But the new BJP government that took charge last month is reportedly looking into strengthening the existing law to further check the cow slaughter in the state, Haryana’s Animal Husbandry Minister Om Parkash Dhankhar said at Gurgaon on Tuesday.

The BJP government in Maharashtra has now taken up the oldest pending Bill – the Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill 1995 – which was enacted by the then BJP-Shiv Sena government but subsequently stalled by the central governments, including the NDA tenure in between – by not seeking the President’s consent for it. During its 15-year rule in Maharashtra, the Congress-led governments never responded to the BJP’s demands for taking the bill ahead.

With this bill, the BJP government in Maharashtra wishes to ban the slaughter of calves in the state. Slaughtering of cows is already forbidden under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act (MAPA), enacted in 1976. Under the provisions of this existing law, calves can be killed after acquiring the ‘Fit for Slaughter’ certificate from civic authorities.

As reported by PTI, Mahesh Phatak, secretary, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Department (Maharashtra) wrote to the Central Government last Thursday regarding the new BJP government’s wish to follow up and enactment of the Bill. His letter was in response to a communication from deputy secretary, Union Ministry of Home Affairs, seeking to know if the government was interested in pursuing the Bill, passed way back in 1995 by the state legislature.

Cattle slaughtering laws vary from state to state

The “Preservation, protection and improvement of stock and prevention of animal diseases, veterinary training and practice” is Entry 15 of the ‘State List’ of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, meaning that State legislatures have exclusive powers to legislate the prevention of slaughter and preservation of cattle.

Hence, there is no uniform law regarding cattle slaughtering for all states and while cow slaughtering is completely banned in certain states, it is allowed in others. Also, those states that do have such laws, the enactment vary in great respect. Then, there are certain states where cow slaughter is not banned. These include Kerala, West Bengal, Jammu & Kashmir and some states from the northeast India. These states allow the slaughter of cows with restrictions such as a ‘fit-for-slaughter’ certificate that is issued by the civic authority depending on factors like age and gender of cattle, continued economic viability etc.

Prohibition of cow slaughter is actually a Directive Principles of State Policy contained in Article 48 of the Constitution. It reads,

“The State shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.”

– tcn

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