New Delhi, Aug 14 (KMS): The Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021, seeking to regulate the slaughter, consumption and transportation of cattle, was passed in the Assembly.
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had tabled the Bill in the House on July 12.
“The new legislation, replacing a similar Act of 1950, aims at forbidding the sale and purchase of beef in places other than those permitted by the competent authorities,” he said.
The Chief Minister had earlier pointed out that the legislation would ensure that permission to sell beef is not granted in areas predominantly inhabited by Hindu, Jain, Sikh and other non-beef-eating communities or within a 5 km radius of a temple, satra (Vaishnav monastery) and any other religious institutions as may be prescribed by the authorities.
Exemptions may be granted for certain religious occasions, he said.
The law will prohibit a person from slaughtering cattle without obtaining the necessary certificate from a registered veterinary officer of a particular area. The veterinary officer “will issue a certificate only if he or she 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 if it is permanently incapacitated. Also, licensed or recognised slaughterhouses will be allowed to butcher cattle, the legislation said.
The new legislation will check transport of bovines within the State or outside, if valid documents are not made available to the authorities. There will, however, no restriction on ferrying cattle for agricultural purposes within a district or to and from registered animal markets for sale and purchase within the district.
All offences under the new legislation will be cognisable and non-bailable, the law said.
Violating the law will entail imprisonment for not less than three years or fine that may vary from ₹3 lakh-₹5 lakh or both.
If anyone convicted under the new law is found guilty of the same or a related offence the second time, the punishment will be doubled. The legislation will extend to the whole of Assam and the term ‘cattle’ will apply to bulls, bullocks, cows, heifer, calves, male and female buffaloes and buffalo calves, the law said.