Bangalore: The Congress government in Karnataka on Friday reversed the previous BJP ministry`s decision that had made the cow slaughter law very stringent.
The state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah decided to restore the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation Act, 1964, that governs the slaughter of cattle in the state, Law Minister TB Jayachandra told reporters.
A bill passed by both Houses of the legislature during BJP rule had widened the definition of cattle, made punishment harsher and increased the age of animal to be slaughtered but it did not receive the Presidential assent.
Congress, which was in the oppositon then with Siddaramaiah as its leader, had opposed the legislation, saying it would affect beef-eaters and persons engaged in cattle transportation.
As per the amended bill brought in during BJP rule, slaughter of cows, calf of a cow and bull, bullock, buffalo male or female and calf of she-buffalo was prohibited. However, if permission is obtained from a competent authority, animals above the age of 15 could be slaughtered.
The scope of the 1964 Act is restricted to the slaughter of cows, calf and she-buffaloes but allowed slaughter of bulls, bullocks and buffaloes if they were aged above 12 or if they were no longer fit for breeding or draught or did not give milk.
The 1964 Act says anyone violating the law can be punished with imprisonment up to maximum of 6 months or fine of up to Rs. 1,000 or both. The crime is treated as a cognisable offence.