The government of Karnataka has announced that it will issue an ordinance to give effect to a revised law prohibiting the slaughter of livestock. Previously, the state assembly, where the BJP has a majority, approved the bill. But the Legislative Council has not clarified it. Hence the prescription.
Karnataka has long had a law restricting the slaughter of cows. But this law recognized the reality that livestock represent an investment for farmers. Therefore, it allowed the farmers to dispose of the cattle after a stage. The revised law will completely ban the slaughter of cows. The BJP government has promised to help farmers by opening goushalas to feed older cows.
Separately, the law allows the slaughter of buffaloes as long as they reach the age of 13. The experience of other states, especially Uttar Pradesh, shows that such fine distinctions in the law lead to abuse in implementation.
Read also: Karnataka government approves ordinance banning the slaughter of cows
Overall, this law once again imposes a worldview on farmers that undermines their economic interests and also assumes that they are not as invested as the rest of society in upholding traditions. The governor of Karnataka must refrain from giving his assent to the ordinance, as it goes against what the BJP-led Center is trying to achieve through its three agricultural laws.
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