Assam CM Tables Cattle Preservation Bill 2021, Ban on Transportation of Cows & more

Assam CM Tables Cattle Preservation Bill 2021, Ban on Transportation of Cows & more

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, on Monday, tabled the 'Assam Cattle Preservation Bill-2021' on the first day of the Budget Session of the State Assembly.

New legislation proposes a ban on the transportation of cows & restrictions on the sale of beef

STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI: Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, on Monday, tabled the 'Assam Cattle Preservation Bill-2021' on the first day of the Budget Session of the State Assembly. The prime objective of the proposed legislation is the preservation of cattle by regulating their slaughter, consumption and illegal transportation. As per the proposed new legislation, "cattle" means bulls, bullocks, cows, heifer, calves, buffaloes and buffalo calves.

About Assam Cattle Preservation Bill 2021

The 'Assam Cattle Preservation Bill-2021' also aims to regulate the sale and purchase of beef in assam by allowing such activity only in places permitted by competent authorities. It seeks to ensure that permission to sell and purchase beef is not granted in areas that are "predominantly inhabited by the Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and other non beef-eating communities or places that fall within five-kilometre radius of a temple, xatra and any other institution as may be prescribed by the authorities. 

Tabling the Bill, Chief Minister Sarma informed the Assembly that the 'Assam Cattle Preservation Act-1950 (Assam Act 13 of 1951) was enacted and published in the 'Assam Gazette' on April 25, 1951 for the preservation of certain categories of cattle by controlling their slaughter. He, however, said that it has been observed that the legislation lacks sufficient legal provisions to deal with the issues arising out of slaughter, consumption and transportation of cattle.

"In the light of the experience over the years and in view of the shortcomings which have been observed, it is considered that there is an imperative need to enact a legislation to include sufficient legal provisions to regulate the slaughter, consumption and transportation of cattle by repealing the 'Assam Cattle preservation Act-1950," added Sarma.

The Bill seeks to stop the transport of cattle from any place within Assam to places outside the State "where slaughter of cattle is not regulated by law". The transport of cattle from places outside Assam to any place within the State will also be banned by the legislation. Further, movement of cattle from one place within the state to another located in Assam will also be restricted.

"The competent authority may issue permit for transport of cattle for bona fide agricultural or animal husbandry purposes as prescribed in the rules framed under the Act," states the Bill.There are certain exemptions as well. No permission would be required to carry cattle to the grazing fields or for agricultural or animal husbandry purposes within a district. No permission will be required for carrying cattle to and from the registered animal markets for the purpose of sale and purchase of such cattle within the district.

For the purpose of slaughtering, an individual must obtain a certificate in writing issued by the registered Veterinary officer of the Animal & Husbandry department for the area in which the cattle is to be slaughtered.

"Every Animal Market Committee of recognized animal markets shall issue proof of sale and purchase of animals in the prescribed format to the purchaser and maintain proper record for inspection by the competent authority," states the Bill.

Contraventions under the new legislation shall be cognizable and non-bailable. Anyone found guilty shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years or fine that may vary between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 5 lakh or both.

Noted lawyer Nekibur Zaman said that he would go through the Bill before making a comment. He, however, said that consumption of beef is not illegal in Assam; and, the 'Assam Cattle Preservation Act-1950' allows the slaughter of cattle above 14 years of age with proper approval from the local Veterinary officers.

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