Beef Ban: States where cow slaughter is legal and illegal
[Representational Image]Reuters

Cow is considered a sacred animal and many Hindus revere it. With a BJP-led NDA government in power at the Centre, many conservative Hindus are now voicing their opinion about protecting cows by banning the slaughter of the animal. Many states have already imposed a beef ban, making slaughter of cows and possession of beef a criminal offence.

The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries data reveals that 24 of the 29 states in India have imposed restrictions and penalties of varying degrees on the slaughter of cows and other bovine cattle.

Here is the list of states that have banned cow slaughter and consumption of beef as well as details about what penalties an offender may face:

  1. Andhra Pradesh: Penalty includes imprisonment up to maximum of 6 months or fine of up to Rs 1,000 or both.
  2. Assam: Penalty includes imprisonment up to maximum of 6 months or fine of up to Rs 1,000 or both.
  3. Bihar: Penalty includes imprisonment up to maximum of 6 months or fine of up to Rs 1,000 or both.
  4. Daman and Diu: Penalty includes imprisonment up to maximum of 6 months or fine up to Rs 1,000 or both.
  5. Delhi: Penalty includes imprisonment of 6 months to 5 years and a fine of Rs 1,000 to Rs 10,000.
  6. Goa: Penalty includes imprisonment up to maximum of 6 months or fine of up to Rs 1,000 or both.
  7. Gujarat: Penalty includes imprisonment up to maximum of 6 months or fine of up to Rs 1,000 or both.
  8. Haryana: Penalty includes rigorous imprisonment up to 5 years or fine up to Rs 5,000 or both.
  9. Himachal Pradesh: Penalty includes imprisonment up to maximum of 2 years or fine up to Rs 1,000 or both.

10. Jammu and Kashmir: Penalties include:

  • Voluntary slaughter of any bovine animal such as ox, bull, cow or calf shall be punished with imprisonment of either description which may extend to 10 years and shall also be liable to fine.
  • Fine may extend to five times the price of the animals slaughtered as determined by the court.
  • Possession of flesh of killed or slaughtered animals is also an offence punishable with imprisonment up to 1 year and fine up to Rs 500.

11. Karnataka: Penalty includes imprisonment up to maximum of 6 months or fine of up to Rs 1,000 or both.

12. Kerala: No penalty outlined.

13. Madhya Pradesh: Penalties include:

  • Imprisonment up to 3 years and fine of Rs 5,000.
  • Normally imprisonment shall not be less than 6 months and fine not less than Rs 1,000.
  • Burden of proof is on the accused.

14. Maharashtra: Penalty includes imprisonment up to maximum of 6 months or fine of up to Rs 1,000 or both.

15. Manipur: If anyone is seen killing a cow in the state he should be prosecuted by law.

16. Meghalaya: No penalty outlined.

17. Nagaland: No penalty outlined.

18. Odisha: Penalty includes imprisonment up to maximum of 2 years or fine up to Rs 1,000 or both.

19. Pondicherry: Penalty includes imprisonment up to maximum of 2 years or fine up to Rs 1,000 or both.

20. Punjab: Penalty includes imprisonment up to maximum of 2 years or fine up to Rs 1,000 or both.

21. Rajasthan: Penalty includes rigorous imprisonment of not less than 1 year and up to maximum of 2 years and fine up to Rs 10,000.

22. Tamil Nadu: Penalty includes imprisonment of up to 3 years or fine up to Rs 1,000 or both.

23. Uttar Pradesh: Penalty includes rigorous imprisonment of up to 2 years or fine up to Rs 1,000 or both.

24. West Bengal: Penalty includes imprisonment up to maximum of 6 months or fine of up to Rs 1,000 or both.

States like Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand have not imposed beef ban yet.

Despite this, India continues to remain world's second-largest producer of beef (after Brazil) but most of that is buffalo meat. The beef ban has also spurred a huge underground business, giving rise to about 30,000 illegal and unlicensed abattoirs in India.

The beef ban has also created unrest in many parts of the country as most of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes (SC/ST) consume beef as a staple diet and these people make up a quarter of the country's population.

"Beef is one of the most affordable sources of protein for the Dalit community," said Mohan Dharavath, president, Dalit Adivasi Bahujan and Minority Students' Association, in an interview.

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