Central government proposed a total ban cow slaughter and beef products with a punishment of life imprisonment. A proposed Law on the protection of cattle, Lakshadweep, 2021 put in the public domain for comments on February 25 provides for an open prohibition against the export of or the purchase of meat or beef.
Rind is extensively eaten in the archipelago, which has a Muslim population of 96.5% as per the 2011 Census and meat exported from continental countries to the islands.
his draft proposes a total ban on slaughter of cow, calf of a cow (females and males), bull, bullock with punishment of life imprisonment in case of violation. Section 5 of the draft rules lays down:
Section 5 – Prohibition against slaughter without certificate from Competent Authority
(1) Notwithstanding any law for the time being in force or any usage to the contrary, no person shall slaughter or cause to be slaughtered any animal unless, he has obtained in respect of such animal a certificate in writing from the Competent Authority appointed for the area that the animal is fit for slaughter.
(2) No certificate under sub-section (1) shall be granted in respect of—
(a) a cow;
(b) the calf of a cow, whether male or female and if male, whether castrated or not;
(c) a bull;
(d) a bullock;
Unless it is meant to be “for the purpose of agriculture or animal husbandry, it is forbidden to transport from one portion to the other of the Union Territories for killing” by the legislation (section 7).
Section 8 is targeted at banning beef products, “No individual shall sell, hold, stock, bring, give or show beef or beef products for sale or purchase in any manner, either directly or indirectly.” Any vehicle or conveyance which serves the transport of beef or beef products is, according to the same Provision, liable to be confiscated and to be forfeited into the Union Territory by an officer appointed for the same.
Section 10 provides for penalties under which, if a person is convicted for the offence of slaughtering a cow, calf, bull or a bullock, will be “punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to imprisonment for life but shall not be less than ten years and with fine which may extend to five lac rupees but shall not be less than one lac rupees.”