Amid the growing COVID-19 pandemic and plummeting economy, which has resulted in severe job cuts, the BJP government in Karnataka is planning to bring in a stringent version of the contentious anti-cow slaughter law that will ensure a blanket ban on cattle slaughter, sale, and consumption of beef, Animal Husbandry Minister Prabhu Chavan has said.
The BJP in its manifesto ahead of the 2018 assembly election had promised prohibition of cow slaughter.
“The government is committed to enacting the anti-cow slaughter law. Once the COVID-19 crisis eases an expert committee would be constituted to look into its implementation, and if need be, it will visit states like Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh to study about implementation there,” Chavan was quoted as saying by his office in a press release.
In 2010, the Yediyurappa-led BJP government had passed a bill that placed a blanket ban on cattle slaughter, which was later overturned by the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government in 2013, calling the legislation draconian and unconstitutional. 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.
At present, a 1964 Act partially banning cow slaughter is in place in Karnataka. The Act allows for the slaughter of non-milch and diseased cattle.
Chauhan’s statement comes even as Karnataka is struggling to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. For the third day in a row, both Karnataka and its capital Bengaluru on Saturday clocked record single-day highs in new COVID-19 cases. Unable to control the COVID-19 curve, the government on Saturday even announced a complete lockdown in Bengaluru Urban and Rural districts from 8 pm July 14 to 5 am 22 July.