Indian president approves ban on beef in Maharashtra

Published: March 3, 2015


Indian President Pranab Mukherjee approved on Tuesday the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 1995, banning the slaughter of cows and bulls and threatening to imprison for five years anyone found to be selling the meat or in possession of it.

“This is a historic step, which has cultural as well as economic implications for the state,” BJP MP from Mumbai Kirit Somaiya said.

Nearly 19 years after the Maharashtra Assembly passed the Bill during the BJP-Shiv Sena rule in 1995, Mukherjee signed the Bill and sent it to the Ministry of Home Affairs, according to Indian Express.

“We had promised in our manifesto to bring this Bill and we have managed to do it,” the MP added.

Under the bill anyone found to be selling beef or in possession of it can be jailed for five years and fined INR10,000.

“Thanks a lot Hon President Sir for the assent on Maharashtra Animal Preservation Bill. Our dream of ban on cow slaughter becomes a reality now,” Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted.

However, beef traders said they are checking if they can take legal action. The beef trade in the state is largely controlled by Muslims of the Qureshi caste.

“We are now holding deliberations to see if we can challenge this in any way. The beef traders have been impacted but it will be the farmers who will be affected the most,” president of the Mumbai Suburban Beef Dealer Association Mohammed Qureshi said.

He added, “Apart from rendering people jobless, the immediate effect will be the spiraling price of other meats as people will be forced to gravitate to them.”

The slaughter of cows was previously prohibited in the state under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act of 1976. However, the new Act bans the slaughter of bulls as well as bullocks, which was previously allowed based on a fit-for-slaughter certificate.

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Reader Comments (40)

  • Pak Patriot
    Mar 3, 2015 - 2:03PM

    I laugh at people who say India is a secular country.Recommend

  • Mar 3, 2015 - 2:17PM

    Hindustan is turning into an extremist and sectarian State.
    No other religion tolerated or respected. just a matter of
    time before Muslims and other minorities will be put in
    concentration camps. Just like Serbia in the 90’sRecommend

  • Rajesh
    Mar 3, 2015 - 2:23PM

    Nothing wrong. Can Christians and Hindus of pakistan sell or eat pork? So its fair.Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma
    Mar 3, 2015 - 2:54PM

    This is the right time for Pakistan to announce an open immigration policy for those who wish to migrate from India on grounds of culinary persecution.Recommend

  • Haris Shahid
    Mar 3, 2015 - 2:56PM

    Well we don’t claim to be a secular state @ RajeshRecommend

  • anon
    Mar 3, 2015 - 2:56PM

    unlike India Pakistan does not claim to be a secular state ..Recommend

  • Amir
    Mar 3, 2015 - 2:59PM

    Why is it even a news in Pakistan. Why is it a difficult to understand that their land can have their own laws… interesting thing is we are ready to criticise their state level laws while having our own set of unreasonable laws on national level. Having said that, Maharashtrians dont know what they will be missing…Recommend

  • Rakib
    Mar 3, 2015 - 3:02PM

    @Rajesh: as an indirect answer to your poser, based on even superficial knowledge I can say that Pakistan is an Islamic Republic. It has no pretention of being a Secular Socialist Democratic Republic. That’s a major difference to be considered in appraising your query. However, is banning of beef an undemocratic or nonsecular decision? Now, THAT question is worth dealing with. IMO, no, it isn’t; highly undesirable & condemnable a decision though it is.Recommend

  • KL
    Mar 3, 2015 - 3:12PM

    @Rajesh , We don’t claim to be a Secular State.Recommend

  • nikhil
    Mar 3, 2015 - 3:35PM

    @Hobi Haripur wala… Not like Serbia….its like Pakistan. When you do its Ok, when others do its not OK. Wah wah…Recommend

  • straightshooter
    Mar 3, 2015 - 4:00PM

    Others are theocrats. Its their curse. What’s your excuse?Recommend

  • Usama
    Mar 3, 2015 - 4:09PM

    @Rajesh: Yes all non-Muslims can, exactly the same way as they can consume alcohol, legally. I’ve seen some Chinese restaurants serving pork to their communities, atleast in Islamabad. Any other argument good Sir?Recommend

  • Pity
    Mar 3, 2015 - 4:30PM

    India is on its way of becoming a religious extremist country under Modi sarkar. Thank you Qaid-e-Azam for giving us Pakistan. Recommend

  • raider
    Mar 3, 2015 - 5:09PM

    What a grotesque mind still handling the system in this 21th centuryRecommend

  • Malhotra
    Mar 3, 2015 - 5:28PM

    Excellent step. If muslims need to eat beef, then go to pakistan. If you want to be in india, be completely vegetarian.Recommend

  • ali
    Mar 3, 2015 - 5:44PM

    modern India – a sign of things to come. Recommend

  • zara haq
    Mar 3, 2015 - 6:02PM

    I love my Jinnah.

    Plz ban Murghi Devi too.Recommend

  • Reddy
    Mar 3, 2015 - 6:02PM

    nobody went bullocks in pakistan when “save the tigers” campaign launched in india,now they have a problem with “save the cows”….hopefully all other states fallow the suit,just like they did in case of tigers,some cowardly states don’t but a good start none the less…we need more cowsRecommend

  • Bewildered
    Mar 3, 2015 - 6:23PM

    @Rajesh: @Haris Shahid: @anon: @KL:

    “Can Christians and Hindus of pakistan sell or eat pork?”

    There is no law in Pakistan stopping Christians, Hindus, and all other non-Muslims slaughtering pigs for their own consumption, but they are not allowed to sell it to Muslims. So, the answer is ‘Yes’ they can.Recommend

  • Bewildered
    Mar 3, 2015 - 6:53PM


    “However, is banning of beef an undemocratic or nonsecular decision? Now, THAT question is worth dealing with. IMO, no, it isn’t”

    Had they also banned selling bacon and spirits as well, only then this law might be considered as based on some principle of preserving religious feelings and harmony applied universally to all. But as this law caters for Hindus religious feelings only while completely ignoring Muslims and Christians, it is a highly discriminatory law which no doubt is against the basic principles of secularism. I wonder what makes you confused on the issue.Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Mar 3, 2015 - 6:58PM

    I do not support this ban on beef. This is a very stupid action. The proper thing to do would be to regulate the ways animals are slaughtered. Recommend

  • Raza Seraiki
    Mar 3, 2015 - 7:40PM

    “Maharashtra bans selling of Beef”, implies earlier the indian state allowed slaughtering, and selling beef.
    This is news to me as i was of the opinion that Beef is banned all over India because Indian muslims are persecuted and not allowed to practice their muslim culture in Hindu dominated India.Recommend

  • Raza Seraiki
    Mar 3, 2015 - 8:39PM

    “Ban on beef implemented in Maha rashtra by Sena / BJP govt” – This news implies that Beef was earlier available for inhabitants of Maha rashtra people and now it has been banned.
    This news is new to us as I was of the opinion that Beef is banned all over India as India is ruled by Hindu zealots.Recommend

  • someone
    Mar 3, 2015 - 8:57PM

    Very good decision by Maharashtra government. There are other animals that Muslims of India can consume. There were no Cows in Saudi Arabia and people used to eat sheep there so there is nothing Islamic about slaughtering the cows.Recommend

  • MJ
    Mar 3, 2015 - 9:21PM

    I have been living in the US during the past 25 years. Here most of the times, Indians and Pakistanis are very good friends. As far as beef is concerned, it is more a social stigma in India. My Indian friends from both North and South of India, many of them Brahmins as well enjoy beef every time they get a chance. I am not saying that 100% of them do so, but a clear majority of educated Indians that I have seen in the US eat non-veg. occasionally. From eating steaks at BarBQ houses to insisting that I serve them beef Nihari when they visit me.

    On the flip side when you board an international flight, Pakistanis who are seen in their neighborhoods mosques praying in congregation more often than not, are found enjoying alcoholic beverages. When I visit Pakistan I am surprised to see how openly people can buy and sell Alcohol.

    The point is that morality is cannot be policed. The sense of good and bad as culture or religion dictates is something that is a personal matter. If you try to enforce values in results in rebellion. Faith is something that is nurtured by education and soul searching, not be coercion. I am pretty sure Maharashtra is now going to have a booming underground beef market. Recommend

  • Parvez
    Mar 4, 2015 - 12:42AM

    Will this impact India’s beef exports ?Recommend

  • Molly
    Mar 4, 2015 - 2:53AM

    but they can slaughter it and eat it without having to pay fine or being imprisonment. also pakistan isnt a secular state its islamic state, where as india claims to be one. why not just call india a hindu state.Recommend

  • Mumbaikar
    Mar 4, 2015 - 8:25AM

    What in the world has beef to do with secularism? If you read in schools and not madarsas you will be able to differentiate otherwise you will just compare like how your experts compare a mars mission with cruise missilesRecommend

  • ali.s
    Mar 4, 2015 - 8:29AM

    This is secular India everybody. So secular LOLRecommend

  • Rakib
    Mar 4, 2015 - 9:56AM

    @Bewildered: despite 3 attempts ET did not publish my response to you that established Constitutional validity of the decision to ban. If this also is not accepted by mods then I give up.Recommend

  • Ck
    Mar 4, 2015 - 12:22PM

    Ban on beef has been announced only in the state of Maharashtra… In large parts of the country Beef is freely available, In the southern state of Kerala beef is a hot commodity consumed in large quantities by Hindus too.Recommend

  • Mar 5, 2015 - 4:40AM

    India can Muslim Personal Law and be secular, but a Hindu specific law comes in and it becomes unsecular?

    To all those Muslims who protested against Charlie Hebdo insulting your Religion, by slaughtering Cows you disrespect Hinduism.

    Why should others care what you think?Recommend

  • Rakib
    Mar 5, 2015 - 8:06AM

    @BruteForce: Reprehensible though the decision to ban slaughter is, fact remains that Article 48 in The Constitution Of India 1949 reads as follows: Quote: The State shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.:Unquote.

    Reg your comment on Secular:- India was not envisaged as a religious state but it wasn’t intended to be formally declared as “Secular” either. India was to be as it has always been. The framers did not use the word Secular even once in the original Constitution which was drafted over a period of 2 years & 11 months. More than quarter century later Indira Gandhi inserted the words “Secular Socialist” in the Preamble. Only honest statement that can be made is the Union of India does not have a State Religion. All other claims are debatable.Recommend

  • Yo2Da2
    Mar 5, 2015 - 10:41AM

    @Amir: Banning something and eliminating it from the market (demand + supply) are two different things. Maharasthra consists of Mumbai and banning slaughter means suppliers in neighboring states will rush to fill the demand. (Prohibitions do not work in the long run.) This has nothing to do with secularism. Both Pork and beef have limited availability.Recommend

  • Vivekanand
    Mar 5, 2015 - 4:38PM

    I am a Hindu from the state of Maharashtra. I think it is a stupid & undemocratic law. Government cannot decide what people should eat. This decision will deprive people of cheap source of protein & affect agricultural economy adversly. But I think it is not end of the story & the law can yet be challenged in the court. At the same time the way many Pakistani commentators are worrying about demise of secularism in India is bit premature & exaggerated.


  • Ankit Sharma
    Mar 5, 2015 - 7:22PM

    long live BJP Recommend

  • Raj
    Mar 7, 2015 - 1:22PM

    As an educated Indian, I am absolutely appalled by this beef ban that will help nobody. It’s a stupid step by stupid BJPers that just takes away likelihood of Hindus and Muslims alike. Idiots. Recommend

  • Raj
    Mar 7, 2015 - 1:30PM

    This is the most despicable law that I have heard of in India. Nobody cares if cows or Bulls are killed for meat except for a handful of animal rights activists. BJO is just creating trouble for itself and denying people their livelihood and food. Recommend

  • Inner
    May 11, 2015 - 2:45PM

    “Secular” India in action.Recommend

  • ahmad
    May 23, 2015 - 7:13PM

    They do.Recommend

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