Ahead of Eid al-Adha, the Assam government has asked the Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police to ensure compliance with the Animal Welfare Board of India’s Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) regarding stopping of illegal killing or sacrifice of cows, calves, camels, and other animals and taking action against the offenders for violation of transport of animals’ rules.
Assam passed a law last year which stipulated the sale of beef only at designated places, restricting any kind of sale in areas resided by non-beef-eating communities. According to the law, cows and their calves cannot be killed. Cattle aged above 14 years are otherwise permitted to be slaughtered.
“No person shall directly sell or offer or expose for sale or buy beef products in any form except at places permitted to do so by the competent authority. Provided that no such permission shall be granted in such area or areas which are predominantly inhabited by Hindu, Jain Sikh, and other non-beef eating communities or within a radius of 5 km of any temple, Satra (monastery), or other religious institutions belonging to Hindu religion or any other institutions or area as may be prescribed by the competent authority,” the law says.
It further added that cattle can be slaughtered in Assam only with permission from authorities and at a licensed slaughterhouse after government veterinary officers issue fitness certificates, and if this is violated the accused will not get bail until the public prosecutor has been given an opportunity of being heard on such a petition. If convicted under the new law, a person can be imprisoned for up to eight years and fined up to Rs 5 lakh.