Assam Cattle Preservation Bill & Its Impact On Dietary Patterns Of NE Indigenous Communities

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Posted in Featured, Northeast


  • NET Web Desk

On Monday July 12, the Assam CM, Himanta Biswa Sarma tabled the Assam Cattle Preservation Bill 2021 in the first day of the Budget Session in the Assam Assembly.

Approved by the state Cabinet, this Bill seeks to control the slaughter of cows and illegal transportation of cattle.

It bars the sale and purchase of beef or its products in areas inhabited by Hindu, Jain, Sikh and other non beef-eating communities or “within a radius of 5 km” of any temple or Vaishnavite monasteries.

But placing of this bill, might lead to a shift in the dietary customs of indigenous communities residing in Northeast India.

A majority of people consume beef as their staple diet. For instance – in Nagaland, it is often cooked with akhuni, a kind of fermented soya bean.

Beef and pork, being cheaper meats, are in higher demand than chicken or mutton in the Northeast regions.

Many in the Christian-majority States of Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland consume beef. Similarly, this bill will affect supplies of cattle to Christian-majority regions in a large extent.

Recently, Meghalaya CM, Conrad Sangma stated to take up the matter with the Centre if the law affects the supply of beef to the state.

But, the act only deals with cow vigilantism or violence accelerating in the recent times.

Illegal trade of cows to countries like – Bangladesh has mounted an immediate concern, that led to the placing of this bill.

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