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Karnataka anti-cow slaughter legislation:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Government Policies and issues arising out of their design and implementation.



Accusing the Government of creating fear psychosis among farmers using the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Act, a convention of dairy farmers has demanded that the legislation be scrapped at the earliest in their interest.



  • Police were harassing farmers by using the provisions of the legislation.
  • While farmers are under watch by banning cow slaughter, the sale and export of beef by corporates has not been banned.
  • Farmers are banned from selling their cows to slaughter houses even if they were infertile. This results in more number of farmers, particularly dairy farmers, quitting agriculture and allied activities.
  • Even the transport of cattle had become difficult as farmers needed to take permission from various authorities concerned even for it.


What are the demands?

The Government should buy infertile cows from farmers at market rates till it withdraws the legislation.

  • The word ‘cattle’ in the legislation is defined as “cow, calf of a cow and bull, bullock, and he or she buffalo below the age of 13 years”.


Controversial Provisions:

Who has the power to conduct searches?

  • Police officers ranked sub-inspector and above or a competent authority will have the power to search premises and seize cattle and materials used or intended to use to commit the offence.
  • Such seizures, if any, will then be reported before the Sub Divisional Magistrate without unreasonable delay.


What are the penalties?

  • It is a cognizable offence, violators can attract three to seven years of imprisonment.
  • While a penalty between Rs 50,000 and Rs 5 lakh can be levied for the first offence, second and subsequent offences can attract penalties ranging between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 10 lakh.


Dairy economics:

  • The sector that will take the largest hit from the legislation is the dairy industry. India’s dairy industry is massive with an annual turnover of Rs 6.5 lakh crore – making it by far India’s largest agricultural product.
  • India’s farmers earn more from dairy than wheat and rice put together. India has almost as many bovines as people in the United States with one for every four Indians.
  • The problem with the bill is that that slaughter is integral to the dairy industry’s economic functioning. Dairy farming in India functions on small margins. As a result, the upkeep of unproductive animals would throw their bottom lines out of alignment.



Prelims Link:

  1. Key features of the Bill.
  2. Similar laws by other states.
  3. India’s milk production and consumption.
  4. White revolution- features and impacts.

Mains Link:

Discuss the rationale behind and implications of such laws.

Sources: the Hindu.