GUWAHATI: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tabled the “Assam Cattle Preservation Bill 2021” on the first day of the Budget Session of Assembly on Monday.
Approved recently by the state cabinet for introduction in the House, the Bill seeks to ban the transport of cattle to and fro the state as well as within the state to thwart smuggling to Bangladesh.
“Provided that the state government may exempt certain places of worship or certain occasions for the slaughter of cattle other than calf, heifer, and cow for religious purposes…
“No person shall transport or offer for transport or cause to be transported any cattle without a valid permit from any place of another state through Assam to any place outside the state of Assam, any place within the state of Assam to any place outside the state of Assam where the slaughter of cattle is not regulated by law,” the Bill reads.
It also states that no person shall transport or offer for transport or cause to be transported any cattle from any place of another state to any place within the state, slaughter whereof is punishable under this Act.
Further, the Bill states that no person shall transport or offer for transport or cause to be transported any cattle from any place within the state to any other place within the state, slaughter whereof is punishable under this Act.
The Bill adds that competent authority may issue permits for the transport of cattle for agricultural or animal husbandry purposes.
A lot of people consume beef in the Christian-majority states of Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland. The Meghalaya government has already expressed its concern over the possible choking of supply.
Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma recently said his government would approach the Centre if the Assam cattle law affects the people and the economy of Meghalaya.
“We will take all steps needed to make sure supply is not affected by the Assam law,” he said.
The beef business helps thousands of people eke out a living in Meghalaya. Cattle, procured from states such as West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Telangana, are transported to Meghalaya through Assam.