The Article 48 (Organisation of agriculture and animal husbandry) lays down that the State shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle. The article not only include cows but includes other milch, draught cattle and calves.
There are significant amendments in laws against cow slaughter now. 12 states in India have powers to levy the penalty of imprisonment ranging from two years to 14 years while many others have other penalties. The Supreme court has announced the laws against cow slaughter or transportation of cows for slaughtering. Few pointers about the current situation are-
Gujarat – The recent amendments in state laws has made the state as strictest in terms of punishment. It also has rigid laws against the selling or eating cow beef to protect the sentiments of its people. For cow slaughter, the penalty is life Imprisonment and fine up to 5 Lakh
Jammu & Kashmir – The state was holding the top most position in terms of punishment before the Gujarat’s recent amendments. For cow slaughter, the penalty is 10 years of imprisonment and five times the worth (in rupees) of the cow so killed. The point to note here is that cows cost in lakhs of rupees in J&K.
Haryana – The state comes on 3rd position for penalties against cow slaughter. Cow slaughter can earn imprisonment up to ten years and a fine up to 1 Lakh In May’17, the Ministry of Environment imposed a ban on trading of cattle for slaughtering across all the animal markets in the country.
Cow protection is a call of duty not just for fulfilling the basic additions to the country’s economy but since because of the holy sentiments attached to it. It is no less our responsibility to safeguard the sacred mother cow.