Cow welfare panel formed to promote cattle protection

The State government has constituted the proposed Go Seva Ayoga (Cow Welfare Commission), which envisages protection and conservation of cattle breeds, ahead of the crucial elections to the urban local bodies (ULBs) and the State Assembly.

The Animal Husbandry Department has, in an order dated February 5, set up the Commission, that will have powers to take custody of agricultural cattle seized under the 1964 anti-cow slaughter legislation and entrusting them to the nearest goshala.

The Commission can also implement programmes of the State government under various cattle development schemes.

Past poll promise

Enactment of the strict anti-cow slaughter legislation was one of the major poll promises made by the BJP in the 2008 Assembly elections.

Its efforts to enact a new legislation — Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle legislation, 2010, replacing the 1964 Act failed to materialise as the President of India recommended certain modifications. Though the State Cabinet incorporated the changes, Governor H R Bhardwaj has not given assent to it. 

The Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle bill, 2010, had proposed ban on the sale and consumption of beef. It actually extended the clause on prevention of slaughter of cattle, defining it as cow, calf of a cow and bull, bullock, buffalo male or female and Buffalo calf.

 The 1964 Act had, however, restricted its scope to the slaughter of cows, calves and buffalo calves and allowed the slaughter of bulls, bullocks and buffaloes if they are over 12 years or if they are dead.

Appeasement 

Setting up of the Commission is, seen as an effort to appease its vote bank as the elections are round the corner. The ULB elections are scheduled for March 7, while the Assembly elections are likely to be held in May.

The Ayoga will also have to promote cattle protection and goshala management in the State and provide financial assistance to them.

It is a 16-member Commission with nine official and seven non-official members. Official members include principal secretaries of animal husbandry, home, revenue, rural development and panchayat raj and urban development departments. The non-official members, including the chairperson of the Commission, will be nominated by the government.

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