Slaughter of cows, bulls, bullocks and calves, is now completely banned in Maharashtra under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (amendment) Act (MAPA), 1995, which received President Pranab Mukherjee’s nod. However, the slaughter of female buffaloes and buffalo calves can continue, with the permission of relevant authorities. Under the amended act, the crime of slaughtering the animals covered will be non-bailable and the punishment will be five years in prison, upped from the earlier six months. The fine has been hiked to Rs 10,000 from the current Rs 1,000.
“The amendment will come into force once the notification is issued by the state government,” said Mahesh Pathak, secretary of the animal husbandry and dairy development department. “The agriculture ministry had passed negative remarks after the bill was sent to the Centre in November last year. The agriculture department had pointed at provisions of schedule 6 of the Act claiming that only aged animals were being sent for slaughter. It was only after we convinced the political leadership about the importance of the bill, that the remarks were changed and the bill was sent to the ministry of home affairs,” said a BJP leader on the condition of anonymity.