Assam new cattle Bill: No Beef Trade In 'Hindu Areas' or within 5-km radius of temple

Guwahati: A Assam new cattle Bill to guard cattle tabled within the Assam Legislative Assembly on Monday by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma bars sale and buy of beef or beef merchandise in areas “predominantly inhabited by Hindu, Jain, Sikh and other non-beef-eating communities”, or “within a radius of 5 km” of any temple or sattra (Vaishnavite monasteries).

This is a novel facet of The Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021, which goals to manage “slaughter, consumption, illegal transportation” of cattle. If handed, the Assam Cattle Preservation Act, 1950, which Sarma had earlier stated lacked adequate authorized provisions to “regulate slaughter, consumption and transportation of cattle”, will likely be repealed.

Many states which have their very own anti-slaughter legal guidelines, don’t exclude particular areas — like what Assam proposes — to promote or purchase beef and beef merchandise.

Reacting to the Bill, Leader of the Opposition Debabrata Saikia of Congress stated there are quite a lot of problematic areas within the Bill and they’re getting it examined by authorized consultants. “For example, the 5 km rule about beef. A stone can be laid and a ‘temple’ can be ‘built’ anywhere by anyone — so it becomes very ambiguous. This may lead to a lot of communal tension,” he stated.

The Opposition has stated it should push for amendments. “This is not a Bill to protect cows, or even respect cows. This has been brought to hurt the sentiments of the Muslims and polarise communities further. We oppose it and will try and bring in amendment resolutions,” stated Aminul Islam, All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) legislator.


Assam’s proposed legislation additionally doesn’t distinguish between totally different cattle varieties — it should apply to all cattle that features “bulls, bullocks, cows, heifer, calves, male and female buffaloes and buffalo calves.” For functions of the anti-slaughter Act, each Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh embody solely cow progeny, however not buffaloes.

The Assam Bill prohibits interstate transport of cattle to and from, in addition to via Assam without legitimate paperwork. Sarma had earlier stated that the proposed law were to ban the motion of cattle to test cattle smuggling to Bangladesh, which shares a 263-kilometer-long border with Assam. He stated the 1950 Act lacked adequate authorized provisions to “regulate slaughter, consumption and transportation of cattle” and thus it was crucial to enact brand new laws.


As per the 1950 Act, cattle slaughter is allowed just for cattle “over 14 years of age” or these “unfit for work” in Assam topic to a “fit-for-slaughter certificate” issued by a neighborhood veterinary officer after the examination. Under the brand new legislation, identical approval certificates for all cattle is required — nevertheless, it provides {that a} cow can’t be slaughtered any matter age.

“No certificate shall be issued unless the Veterinary Officer is of the opinion that the cattle, not being a cow, is over fourteen years of age; or the cattle, not being a cow, heifer or calf, has become permanently incapacitated from work or breeding due to accidental injury or deformity,” it says.

Section 7 of the Bill, ‘Prohibition on the transport of cattle’, states that without a legitimate allow, transport of cattle is banned from Assam to states the place slaughter of cattle isn’t regulated by legislation, and from one state to a different “through” Assam. It additionally provides that cattle can’t be transported inside the state (inter-district), without paperwork.

However, no permission is required to move cattle for grazing or different agricultural or animal husbandry functions, in addition to and from registered animal markets, inside a district.

The proposed legislation additionally offers law enforcement officials (not beneath the rank of sub-inspector), or every other particular person authorized by the federal government, the ability to “enter and inspect any premises” inside their jurisdiction the place he has “reason to believe that an offense under the Act has been or is likely to be committed.” In the 1950 Act, this energy was given solely to the Veterinary Officer and Certifying Officer, appointed by the federal government.

Anybody discovered responsibly may be jailed for a time period of a minimum of three years (extendable as much as eight years) and fined Rs 3 lakh (with the higher restrict Rs 5 lakh), or each. For repeat offenders, the punishment will likely be doubled.

The proposed laws, nevertheless, permits for sure exemptions — it gained’t applies to “religious occasions” when “slaughter of cattle, not being a cow or heifer or calf” is allowed.

The authorities additionally could set up gaushalas (shelters) to handle recovered cattle.

All Opposition events staged a walkout on Monday — the primary day of the Budget session of the Assembly — after the Speaker didn’t permit dialogue on the problems of the worth rise of gas and different important commodities.