On Tuesday, 14 February, Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah called for dissolving the current cow protection law by stating that it has a “communal agenda” and is against the interests of farmers.
In a reply to Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot who praised the BJP-led government’s Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Act of 2020, the opposition leader said there are no buyers for sick and aged cows.
During the Governor’s address to the joint session of the Karnataka legislature on 10 February, Gehlot hailed the programmes initiated by the BJP government for farmers as well as the implementation of the anti-cow slaughter law and cow adoption schemes, while many farmers suffered from these policies.
“The government claims that the ban on cattle slaughter has benefitted the ecosystem but it has done nothing. Farmers would sell cattle earlier if they were unproductive but that cannot be done now. The cattle cannot be sold in the markets because a case will be filed against the farmer,” Siddaramaiah said during his speech on the motion of thanks to the Governor.
The Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Act, 2020 bans the slaughter of cattle “cow, calf of a cow and bull, bullock and he or she buffalo.”
The only exemptions under the law are buffaloes above the age of 13 years that are certified by a competent authority, cattle used in medical research, cattle certified for slaughter by a veterinarian to prevent the spread of any disease, and sick cattle.
The new law also imposes punishments for the illegal transport of cattle, sale of meat, and purchase or disposal of cattle for slaughter. The punishments range from a prison term of three to five years and a fine of Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh.
Due to the cow slaughter Bill, milk production has dipped from 94 lakh litres per day around a few months ago to 76 lakh litres per day. The income of farmers has come down by Rs 6.6 crore per day. Who is responsible? People who are patting themselves for the cow slaughter Bill must answer. The government is responsible for this. This is due to the irresponsibility of the government. Farmers are suffering,” Siddaramaiah said, according to Indian Express.