Bengaluru: The B.S. Yediyurappa government will bring in a stringent version of a contentious anti-cow slaughter law that it had moved in 2010 but couldn’t get passed, Karnataka Animal Husbandry Minister Prabhu Chouhan said Saturday.
The government will make every effort to get the bill passed in the next assembly session, Chouhan told ThePrint.
“Safeguarding cows in Karnataka has been one of the top priorities of the BJP. There will be a complete ban on consumption of beef,” Chouhan said. “Every effort will be taken to ensure that the bill is passed in the next assembly session. It is mentioned in our election manifesto and we plan to fulfill that promise.”
The Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2010, provided for a blanket ban on cow slaughter, consumption, sale and transport of beef in the state. It also prescribed a maximum seven-year jail sentence for offenders, said Chauhan.
According to the bill, slaughter of cows, calf of a cow and bull, bullock, buffalo male or female and calf of a she-buffalo is prohibited.
The bill this government plans to introduce will be much more stringent and violators will be dealt with severe punishment, Chauhan said.
He added that once the Covid-19 crisis settles down, the government plans on sending a team to Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat to study how the anti-cow slaughter law has been successfully implemented there. “We will try and find a way of stricter implementation of the law in our state,” he said.
Chauhan claimed the government also plans to launch ambulances dedicated to the treatment of animals across the state.
Currently, the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation Act, 1964 is in effect in the state. It permits slaughter of non-milch cows and diseased cattle that are over 12 years of age.
‘Cattle symbolise our culture and religion’
After the BJP returned to power last year, C.T. Ravi became the first minister to call for bringing back the proposed 2010 bill that the Yediyuappa government had introduced. Internal calls for getting the bill have been growing since.
On Saturday, Ravi said it is of utmost importance to save not only our cows, but all cattle. “They symbolise our Indian culture and religion,” he told ThePrint.
“Our rich Indian country reflects how we respect all elements. We respect earth as our mother, wind and water as gods. The same way cows and buffaloes are part our lives,” he said.
“As infants we consume our mother’s milk for a limited time. But cow’s milk we consume till the end of our lives. How can we think of slaughtering them? We must worship them,” Ravi said.
Looking to target the Congress, he added that his party was only upholding Mahatma Gandhi’s call to stop the slaughter of cows and uphold the Constitution.
“Those parties that claim to follow the Mahatma, if they really believe in his principles, they will not oppose this bill. They need to prove whether Mahatma Gandhi’s values are important or their vote bank,” he said.
What happened the last time
During his stint as Chief Minister in 2010, Yediyurappa had moved the controversial anti-cow slaughter bill. It was passed in both Houses of the state legislature. But it did not receive the then Governor H.R. Bharadwaj’s approval. It was also pending with the President.
Subsequently, the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government assumed power in 2013 and the bill was stuck.