Cow slaughter ban enters northeastern India

Offenders will face minimum two years in jail and a fine of 10,000 rupees


Gangtok: The ban on cow slaughter has finally reached India’s northeastern region.

Sikkim, one of the eight states in the region, on August 29 passed a bill to prohibit the killing of cows and its female progeny in the Himalayan state.

Sikkim is the first state in the region to pass the law that was until now limited to India’s mainland. Sikkim is ruled by Sikkim Democratic Front, a part of the North East Democratic Alliance led by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Sikkim’s Animal Husbandry Minister Somnath Poudyal on August 28 tabled “Sikkim Prevention of Cow Slaughter Bill, 2017“ in the house. Tabling the bill, Poudyal said, “The cow is regarded a mother for agriculture, dairy industry and the mankind, especially in India. The people of Sikkim consider the cow as sacred and have an emotional attachment to it.”

Chief Minister Pawan Chamling on August 29 said the new legislation bans slaughtering of cows forever. Protection of cow has become important considering the need of inputs for organic farming in the state, he added.

“The government wants to invoke a humane, ethical and sustainable alternative for taking care of aged and unproductive cows in gaushalas (shed),” the chief minister said. To begin with, the state government would construct two gaushalas for the purpose.

The new defines a cow as a milking cow, dry cow, heifer or calf and an offence under the Act will be cognizable and non-bailable. Anyone found slaughtering a cow in the state will face imprisonment for a term of not less than two years, which can even be extended to five years, along with a minimum fine of 10,000 rupees, local media reported.

A repeat offender will face rigorous imprisonment for at least five years, which may be extended to seven years along with a fine of no less than 10,000 rupees.

Among the other northeastern states only Assam has banned slaughter of cows nned except on issuance of ‘fit for slaughter’ certificate at designated places. However, it is not a cognisable offence warranting arrest.

Sikkim’s native population of Bhutias and Lepchas traditionally consume beef. However, the majority are Napali Hindus who revere cows as a goddess.

Poudyal explains that the dairy sector in Sikkim is the single-largest employer along with agriculture and is a major source of income for small and marginal farmers. More than 80 percent rural households own dairy animals and earn supplementary income from these activities.

The new legislation, however, provides an exception for cows suffering from infectious or contagious diseases. To slaughter an infected cow, a certificate from the competent authority is required. Such a cow will have to be slaughtered at a designated place as per the rules prescribed in the Act. The carcass shall be buried or disposed of also as per the rules set in the new Act.

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3 thoughts on “Cow slaughter ban enters northeastern India

  1. Dear friends, it is interesting to read psalm 8:6-8(9) on the dignity of human persons,
    “You have given them dominion over ……..you have put all things under their feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas”
    As we are part of Semitic religions respecting, cow we can demand for oxen. I think we must make a win win situation. Radical Hindus after realising the seriousness May change the definition of cow excluding heifer or calf. psalmist also was careful to avoid cows from the lists of animals to be dominated by human persons created in the image and likeness of God.
    I think mostly Vedic perceptions are not radically against Catholic morality, except the Greatest truth that Christ is unknown to them, gradually if God wishes that too will open new way in Vedic religion. Let us be patient and like Mary treasure in our hearts (Luke 2:51). Hoping that Many good things are yet to come for the church in India.
    If Christians don’t eat cow in this senerio then it becomes inculturation. It will be a sacrifice from our part. Unfortunately our religious are taught inculturation as wearing Hindu sanyasis’ wearings, having long beard, shabby dress,and adopting rituals for Holy mass only. Many religious priests, and docesians in Kerala said to be preparing for mavelly mass (onam mass) on 4th September with a coviction that they are doing inculturation or religious harmony.

  2. But what about the non-Christian bhutias & lepchas of Sikkim who are the traditional inhabitians of Sikkim whose age old culture is to consume beef ? I type from Nepal where tourists eat imported beef in restaurants —so at least a import system should be allowed for Bhutias & Lepchas –otherwise I see unending quarrels brewing in Sikkim (Its like suddenly banning alcoholic drinks there !!)

  3. ” Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother on sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall”. I Corinthians 8:13.

    There were some frictions in the first century Church; some of the believers who came to the Christian faith about keeping the old Testament traditions of food and circumcision. St. Paul was telling based on the situation specifically addressing the Christian believers only. If a Hindu is converted to Christian faith and if he is still in the solid conviction of eating only vegetarian meal, not to offend that person in his infant stage of conversion, the non-vegetarians may have to show some courtesy of avoiding meat from the table. However, if that new convert is showing an adamant attitude to make others not to eat meat due to his anti-meat attitude, then he must be corrected to change the attitude.

    After the great flood, GOD told to Noah, to eat the cultivation and moving things, thus animals and chicken and the rest. In the Mosaic law, some restriction about certain birds and animals as unholy. In the New Testament, no restriction; it is up to every believer to consume their choice of vegetarian and non vegetarian food. 40% of the people of India consume beef. Cow population is the largest animal population in the world, India has the largest, close to 200 million. Even a single Hindu scripture is telling, not to eat meat, especially beef. Then how this cow worship came into India? No Government has the right to impose any eating style upon the people of a democratic nation. If the current Government is imposing a law that everybody in India has to wear pink colored lose clothing, do we need to abide with that?

    Late Dr. P. P. Job was my close friend. He told me after traveling to over 100 nations of the world, the food eating habits of the people. While going to the Church in an African country from the airport, three of the Christian leaders were with him. On the way, hardly any place to eat, they saw people selling rats on the road side. Stopped in one place, got some rats and half cooked in the fire and ate. Can we see any Christian doing that in Kerala? How to judge the African Christians?

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