Cow Slaughter Ban in India |Debate |Law & Belief


Considered holy with the aid of using many Hindus, the slaughter of livestock is a touchy political subject matter which has received a whole lot of interest considering that the existing authorities got here to energy in 2014.

After gaining energy, the existing authorities enacted strict legal guidelines protecting humans criminally accountable for livestock slaughter, which isn’t always simply constrained to cows but consists of all forms of livestock which include buffalo, bull, bullock, steers, heifer, calves and camel as well.

However, the controversy on livestock slaughter isn’t always a brand new phenomenon and has been frequent within the Indian society considering that 1948. After diverse active debates within the Constituent Assembly, a ban on the slaughter of sure animals became covered as a Directive Principle of State Policy. 

Cow Slaughter under the Constitution of India

Under Article forty-eight of the Constitution of India, the State shall endeavour to take steps for maintaining and enhancing the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter of cows, calves and different milch and draught livestock.

Article 48A of the Constitution of India mandates that the State to enact legal guidelines so that you can shield and enhance the surroundings and to make provisions for the guard of wooded area and natural world of the country. 

Also, the Constitution casts a Fundamental Duty upon each citizen of India below Article 51A(g), to shield and enhance the herbal surroundings and to have compassion for residing creatures”.

The ban on cow slaughter became justified due to the fact this enactment enabled the State to shield and enhance the surroundings. The excreta of cow progeny is a supply of wealthy natural manure which helped in enhancing the pleasantness of the earth and prevented the usage of chemical compounds and inorganic manure.

Also, below Entry 15 of List II (State List), the State Legislatures could make legal guidelines to put into effect directive contained in Article forty-eight concerning the prohibition of livestock slaughter as they had been empowered through the Constitution of India to enact legal guidelines associated with Preservation, Protection and Improvement of stock.

The shape of the Constitution of India is such that even a blanket extensive ban on livestock slaughter falls in the ambit of constitutionality and may therefore be termed as constitutional. However, the reality that such kind of ban is violative of diverse essential rights of residents can’t be not noted either. 

Opposition To Ban on Cattle Slaughter

Numerous everyday citizens, butchers, intestine service provider and farm animals sellers in India have challenged this ban via way of means of submitting petitions in numerous Courts throughout the country at the floor that it violates their essential rights as beneath neath.

Article 19(1)(g) – Freedom to training or keep on any profession, change, enterprise or career. 

Under this article, each citizen has the proper to pick any employment or to soak up any change or calling, challenge best to the boundaries as can be imposed via way of means of the country within the hobby of public welfare.

Butchers, intestine traders and farm animals sellers have suffered a fantastic quantity of losses after the ban on farm animals slaughter got here into impact even if the charter has furnished them with the proper to hold on any change or career in their calling.

Also, beneath neath Article 19(2), State has been empowered to position affordable regulations on freedoms which have been assured beneath neath Article 19, however, even those regulations can’t be irrational, unconstitutional or arbitrary. 

Article 21 – Right to Liberty states that,

“No man or woman may be disadvantaged in their proper to existence or liberty besides consistent with the manner that has been hooked up beneath neath law.

“Art. 21 refers to “proper to existence” and embodies numerous factors of existence inclusive of the proper to stay with human dignity, proper to livelihood, proper to criminal aid, proper to pollutants unfastened air, proper to health, proper to meals etc.

Legislation that bans livestock slaughter have taken the proper far from the human beings to pick out what they need to devour and as a consequence proper of residents so that you can eat meals in their desire has been snatched far from them which portrays India society as one this is bigoted and anti-liberal.

The exception supplied beneath neath Article 21 which states that the freedom of a character may be confined with the aid of using the State as according to the manner hooked up with the aid of using law, but this manner additionally can’t be irrational, unconstitutional or arbitrary. 

The Current Debate

Reasons why it should be banned

Environmental issues: The environmental issues ought to be positioned at the equal pedestal as human rights issues, each being traced to Article 21 of the Constitution.

A Bench headed through Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan said that “An animals additionally have honour and dignity which can’t be arbitrarily disadvantaged of and its rights and privateness ought to be reputable and guarded from illegal attacks,”.

It similarly brought that the “Court has an obligation below the doctrine of mother and father patriae to attend to the rights of animals seeing that they’re not able to attend to themselves as towards human beings”. 

Not An Absolute Ban

The trouble pertains to a complete prohibition imposed at the slaughter of cow and her progeny. The ban is overall with reference to the slaughter of most effective one precise magnificence of cattle. The ban isn’t on the entire pastime of butchers (kasais); they may be left loose to slaughter animals aside from cow progeny and keep on their commercial enterprise pastime. 

Reasons not to ban

Alternatively, certain findings were concluded by the constitution bench in the case of Qureshi v. State of Gujarat

  • Wasteful Drain of Resources: The livestock populace this is match for breeding and paintings have to be well fed for keeping the fitness and nourishment of the nation. The preservation of vain livestock which can not paintings or breed entails a wasteful drain at the nation’s livestock feed. 
  • Losses for Cattle Dealers: A overall ban at the slaughter of livestock could carry an extreme dislocation, though now no longer an entire stoppage, of the enterprise of a massive phase of the folks who are with the aid of using career Butchers (kasai), cover service provider and so on. 
  • Anti-liberal: Such a ban will deprive a big phase of the human beings of what can be their staple meals or protein diet. 


Although the goal of the authorities in the back of legal guidelines associated with farm animals slaughter is probably in basic terms within the hobby of public as farm animals are an indispensable a part of agricultural and animal husbandry sector, issuing a blanket national ban on farm animals slaughter seems to be anti-liberal as India is a democratic nation.

Completely banning the slaughter of farm animals for expert or intake functions in all states isn’t justifiable because it absolutely neglects and violates the essential rights of the human beings together with Right to Personal Liberty [Article 21] and Right to Freedom to hold any alternate or occupation [Article 19(1)(g)].

India is an agrarian economy, safety of farm animals is of extreme importance, however, legal guidelines regarding the slaughter of cows were made a part of Code of Criminal Procedures. If the states have taken the defence of public hobby or environmental safety then why have to an offence associated with slaughter of cows be punishable up to ten years or for existence in positive states.

Such sentences are nowhere close to proportionate to the goal sought to be performed through the authorities. Is there a detail of faith gift within the regulation associated with farm animals slaughter? If sure then India is a mundane state, such draconian legal guidelines look like violative of the primary shape of the constitution.

Prohibiting intake of farm animals meat which bureaucracy a day by day a part of intake conduct of 1 phase of the society to keep the non secular sentiments of every other phase of the society isn’t an inexpensive regulation in a federal nation.

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