Despite its illegality, cattle are shipped to various parts of the country for slaughter. According to reports, by 2004, India had 30,000 illegal slaughterhouses, with their legal counterparts being only 3,000 in number. The maximum illegal slaughterhouses were to be found in Chennai and Mumbai.
With regard to this, the State Government of Gujarat has now passed a strict law to curb cow slaughter in India. This crime will now be punishable with a jail term of 14 years. The law restricts the transportation of animals during nighttime, and, in keeping with the provisions of the Gujarat Animal Preservation Amendment Bill, 2017, will also place permanent bans on vehicles that are involved in the transportation of cows, beef, and other beef products. Those in violation will be slapped with a fine between Rs 1 and 5 lakh.
The bill was passed by the State Assembly with a majority vote while the members of the opposition were not present, having been suspended on the final day of the budget session.
Varda Mehrotra, Director of the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO), said,
There is constant abuse of animals that the milk industry promotes at every step. There are no happy cows gladly providing their milk for humans to consume, as we are made to believe. Dairy is cruel and the reality of the dairy industry which we often do not get to see is that there is brutality and abuse, leading to the slaughter of animals once they are termed ‘useless’ and incapable of milk production.
According to The Indian Express, the statement of the bill reads,
In the year 2011, the State Government had made certain amendments in the said Act for better implementation of the Act. It is, however, experienced while implementing the said Act that still more stringent provisions are required to be made by amending the said Act for curbing the menace of illegal slaughtering of the animals covered under the said Act to provide for more stringent punishment and effectively check the rampant use of vehicles for transporting such animals.
Chief Minister of the state, Vijay Rupani told The Hindu,
The Gujarat Assembly passed a cow protection Bill, among the most stringent in the country, making cow slaughter a life-time punishable offence. Protection of cows is the single most important principle towards saving the whole world from both moral and spiritual degradation.
However, the current Gujarat Animal Preservation Act, 1954 was amended in 2011 by the then-Modi-led government, with the jail term being between three and seven years.