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Assam Cattle Preservation Bill to regulate sale of beef passed by voice vote

Cows and their calves cannot be killed. Cattle aged above 14 years are otherwise permitted to be slaughtered.

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Guwahati: Amid walkout by the opposition parties, the Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021 which proposes sale of beef only at designated places restricting any kind of sale in areas resided by non-beef-eating communities was passed by a voice vote in the Assam Assembly on Friday.

The new act will replace the Assam Cattle Preservation Act, 1950.

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The Act provides no transportation of cattle will be allowed and no transit of cattle will be allowed into Assam from other states or from it without a permit.

The bill which was tabled by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in the beginning of the Assembly session was taken for the discussion today as opposition parties demanded that the bill should be sent to the select committee.

Lodging their protests, entire opposition members staged a walkout.

According to the bill, “No person shall directly sell or offer or expose for sale or buy beef products in any form except at places permitted to do so by the competent authority. Provided that no such permission shall be granted in such area or areas which are predominantly inhabited by Hindu, Jain Sikh and other non-beef eating communities or within a radius of 5 km of ant temple, satra (monastery) or other religious institutions belonging to Hindu religion or any other institutions or area as may be prescribed by the competent authority.”

The bill stated Cattle can be slaughtered in Assam only with authorities’ permission and at a licensed slaughter house after government veterinary officers issue fitness certificates.

Cows and their calves cannot be killed. Cattle aged above 14 years are otherwise permitted to be slaughtered.

A police officer not below the rank of sub-inspector and registered veterinary officers may enter and inspect any premises for violations.

A police officer or a registered veterinary officer shall have the power to enter and inspect any premises within the local limits of jurisdiction of such persons where he has reason to believe that an offence under this act has been or likely to be committed.

In case of a violation, the accused will not get bail until the public prosecutor has been given an opportunity of being heard on such a petition. If convicted under the new law, a person can be imprisoned for up to eight years and fined up to Rs 5 lakh.

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