The State Government of Gujarat is all set to introduce an amendment in the ‘Gujarat Animal Preservation Act’ in order to make harsher laws for cow slaughter.

The Gujarat Animal Preservation (amendment) Bill, 2017, has been entered in the records of Gujarat state assembly and same is expected to be tabled for discussion next week.

As per the Gujarat Animal Preservation Act,1954, killing of cows or their progeny is a crime. The amendment bill makes the law stricter and provides for harsher punishment and higher penalties to prevent cow slaughter in the state.

The minimum jail term for illegal ferrying of cows for slaughter has been raised from 7 to 10 years as against the current provision of 3 to 7 years. The monetary penalty has also been doubled from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh.

Further, the proposed amendment bill also allows the police to acquire, seize all vehicles that are being used for illegal ferrying of cattle. Earlier, the police had to release the vehicles after six months of the FIR. The proposed amendment bill also makes offences under the act cognizable and non-bailable.

The Animal husbandry minister, Babubhai Bokhiria stated that the state government had enacted the Gujarat Animal Preservation Act-1954 for the preservation of milch animals, and for cattle that are suitable for breeding or agricultural purposes.

In 2011, the state government had made certain amendments in the law for better implementation of the Act. “However, it has been noticed that more stringent provisions are required for curbing illegal slaughter of animals covered under the law,” the minister said.

“The law itself needs to be revised for effectively checking the use of vehicles for transporting animals to slaughter. This can be achieved by amending Section 6A and 6B of the law to allow the government to permanently acquire the vehicle or any means of transport used for carrying cattle, beef or beef products,” Bokhiria said.

The Gau Seva Ayaog and Gauchar Vikas Board have also been instructed to launch a massive campaign by forming Mahila Self-Help Groups (SHG) for prohibiting cow slaughter in all the villages.

These boards shall develop and market ‘Gau Mutra’ (cow urine), chaan (cow dung) products which are in high demand as well as prepare cow milk products. It has been decided to regularize more than 1,000 encroachments on government lands for Gaushalas or Panjarapole.

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