The Candid Eye

October 2, 2010

Need of cow preservation

Imagine a day without a cup of tea or coffee. Or children not getting to drink milk. Or a pongal without Ghee. Or the prices of ghee souring so much as to be unaffordable to the middle class which is in majority.

The National Dairy Development Board gives following statistics for Cattle in India:-

As you can see,there has been a decreasing trend in the number of cattle, in the recent decades. An approximately 2 million cattle are lost per year in the country. The statistics indicate that the current unknown population of cattle in India could be near about 165-170 million only.

The Karnataka government has passed the cow slaughter ban bill in both the assemblies.

As per the law, the cow slaughter offense is punishable with imprisonment not less than one year which may extend up to seven years or fined between Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000 or both; second and subsequent offense would attract a fine of not less than Rs 50,000 up to Rs one lakh along with imprisonment penalty.

The bill was intended to replace the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation Act, 1964, to prohibit the slaughter of cows and calves of she-buffaloes, bull, buffalo male or female.It is also aimed at preservation and improvement of the breeds of cattle and to endeavor to organize agriculture and animal husbandry in terms of Article 48 of the Constitution.

The bill provides for stringent punishment for violation of the act, and also provides for powers to search and seizure of any premises including vessel or vehicle.

The opposition gave considerable resistance for it, so the Governor forwarded the matter to the President of India. The law is anyways implemented in several other states, so the objection of Governor was not necessary. But he forwarded it considering ‘inter-state’ implications. It will in fact be good to have it as a nationwide law.

It is not only important to constitutionalize the cow slaughter ban, but also to give encouragement for public participation in preservation of cows. For example, can the government create mechanism for public to give donations/ fundings/ investments in government run goshalas? Could there be tax free support for milk production on small scale. Can the government give funding for opening new Goshalas?

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