INDIA - All beef sales have been banned in Maharashtra after President Pranab Mukherjee signed a Maharashtra Animal Preservation Bill, pending since 1995.
A rule restricting the sale and possession of beef has been extended to include the slaughter of bulls and bullocks, previously allowed through a fit-for-slaughter certificate.
Those breaking the law can expect to be jailed for five years and fines Rs 10,000.
The passage of the new Act will ban the slaughter of bulls as well as bullocks, which was previously allowed based on a fit-for-slaughter certificate.
State finance minister, Sudhir Mungantiwar said: "We have been trying hard for the last several years to get the bill passed into a law. It not only ensures that animals are not killed, but would also stabilise the agricultural situation.
"Prevention of the killing of animals will increase the productivity of farms. Even healthy animals were being killed for money, but it will stop now."
Maharashtra chief minister, Devendra Phadnavis, in a tweet said: “Thanks a lot Hon President Sir for the assent on Maharashtra Animal Preservation Bill. Our dream of ban on cow slaughter becomes a reality now.”
Cow slaughter in the state was banned under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act of 1976, but slaughter of bulls, bullocks was allowed until now.
The new law will render people jobless and prices of other meat product will increase further, Mohammed Qureshi, president of the Mumbai Suburban Beef Dealer Association said. As per an estimate, Mumbai alone consumes nearly 90,000 kg of mutton every day, sold through 900 licensed stalls and an equal number of illegal stalls.
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