The BJP-led government in Karnataka passed the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2020 in the Legislative Assembly amid strong opposition from the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular).
How does the Bill impact cattle slaughter in Karnataka?
What animals does the Bill protect?
The Bill protects cattle such as:
- Calf of a cow
- He/She Buffalo under thirteen years of age
Prohibiting the slaughter of cattle
The Bill prohibits the slaughter or intentional killing of cattle by any person in Karnataka. This includes causing any physical injury to the cattle which will result in death. The punishment is imprisonment for three to seven years and/or a fine of Rupees fifty thousand to five lakh.
Moreover, people cannot purchase or sell cattle for slaughter. The punishment is imprisonment for three to five years and/or a fine of Rupees fifty thousand to five lakh.
Restricting the transport of cattle
The Bill states that people should not transport cattle for the purpose of slaughter, both within and outside the State of Karnataka. The punishment is imprisonment for three to five years and/or a fine of Rupees fifty thousand to five lakh.
Cattle can still be transported for agricultural reasons or animal husbandry. However, anyone who wants to transport cattle outside the State for these reasons must first get a permit from the concerned government authority.
To implement various functions under this Bill, the State Government will appoint an Authority for each local area, who will be:
- Tahasildar of a Revenue Taluk; or
- An officer (not below the rank of Veterinary Officer) of the Department of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries.
If a police officer or the concerned Authority thinks that a cattle-related offence has been committed in any property, they have the power to inspect the place and seize such cattle. They must immediately report the seizure to the concerned Sub-Divisional Magistrate.
After looking through relevant records, if the Magistrate thinks an offence has been committed or was going to be committed, they will pass an order to confiscate the property/cattle. Before passing this order, the Magistrate will give the offender an opportunity to explain themselves.
If anyone is dissatisfied with the Magistrate’s order, they have the right to appeal to the concerned Sessions Judge within thirty days of the order