Assam Cattle Preservation Act, 2021

With reference to the Assam Cattle Preservation Act, 2021, consider the following statements:

1. The Act bars sale and purchase of beef or beef products in areas “predominantly inhabited by Hindu, Jain, Sikh and other non-beef-eating communities”.
2. It prohibits inter-state transport of cattle to and from Assam without valid documents.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both 1 and 2
D. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: Both 1 and 2

Explanation: The Assam Cattle Preservation Act, 2021, was made more stringent through an amendment in the Winter Session of the Assam Assembly. The original legislation had been passed on August 13.

In August, the Assam Cattle Preservation Act, 2021 replaced the Assam Cattle Preservation Act, 1950, on the ground that the latter lacked sufficient legal provisions to regulate the slaughter, consumption and transportation of cattle.

The Act bars sale and purchase of beef or beef products in areas “predominantly inhabited by Hindu, Jain, Sikh and other non beef-eating communities”, or “within a radius of 5 km” of any temple or sattra (Vaishnavite monasteries).

The Act — ostensibly passed to check cattle smuggling to Bangladesh — prohibits inter-state transport of cattle to and from Assam without valid documents.

The Amendments

The main amendments include a change in the transport permissions to cattle within the state and two new provisions that provide more teeth to the police.

The amendment now allows movement from one district to another, provided these do not border Bangladesh,

and those transporting the cattle are registered under the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department, and have permits to transport the cattle for bonafide agricultural or animal husbandry purposes or for trade.

The amendments empower the police to enter the house of an accused, search and seize properties if they have a “prima facie reason to believe” that the properties have been acquired in the last six years with money earned from illegal cattle trade.

This provision also places the burden of proof on the accused.

Comments