The Karnataka Legislative Council yesterday cleared the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2020, through a voice vote. It was cleared amidst protests by JD(S) and Congress. The bill now awaits the governor’s assent.
The essence of the bill is that it closes the door for disposal of cows to slaughter houses even after they have stopped producing milk. The state government has promised to make budget allocations to gaushalas to deal with some of the consequences of the bill.
None of the government’s assurances deal with the core problem which is that the bill hurts the economic interests of farmers. Investment in cattle represents an economic decision for farmers. By restricting options for the disposal of an asset, the bill changes the economics of dairy farming, particularly for small farmers. The main consequence of the bill is that it hurts farmers and will partially offset the benefits of the three central laws passed by Parliament in September which aim to provide more choice to farmers.
The governor should withhold assent.
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