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7 years jail for cow slaughter in Gujarat?

A bill, seeking seven-year jail term for cow slaughter was passed unopposed in Gujarat Assembly on Tuesday.

Ahmedabad: A bill, seeking seven-year jail
term for cow slaughter or even transporting the animal for
that purpose, was passed unopposed in Gujarat Assembly on Tuesday,
with opposition Congress extending support to it.

As per the provisions of Gujarat Animal Preservation Act
(GAPA) 1954, which prohibits cow slaughter, there is no
provision to prevent transportation of the animal for
Gujarat Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill 2011- was
tabled in the Assembly by Agriculture Minister Dileep

"To strengthen enforcement and implementation of the Act
stringent punishment on violation of the provisions has been
proposed in the bill," Sanghani said, during a discussion on
the bill.

"The six months imprisonment term has been extended to
seven years on conviction under the Act and provision of fine
up to Rs 50,000 has been made against Rs 1,000 earlier," he

Provision to confiscate the vehicle used for carrying cow
meat has been made in the bill.

A permit will be required for transporting animals for
bona fide agricultural and animal husbandry purposes, the bill

"There is anguish amongst the Maldharis (nomads) over
this move. Had the government given them land for growing
grass to feed the animals, a need to introduce this bill
wouldn`t have arisen," Leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil
said, during discussion on the bill.
"A necessity had arisen to bring this amendment, because
3,32,200 hectares of gauchar land (grazing land), existing in
the state way back in the 1980s, had shrunken considerably
over the years," Gohil said.

"Majority of the gauchar land has been given away by
the Gujarat government to industrialists, under the garb of
development," he alleged.

Gohil claimed during the discussion on bill that around
26,790 kg of beef was alone seized in Ahmedabad in last seven

"We have supported this bill and it has been passed
unanimously in the assembly today, with a few changes, as
suggested by us," Gohil said.

The bill shall now be sent for the assent of Gujarat