Central Government directed to enact laws prohibiting cow slaughter and import and export of cow/calf, selling of beef or beef products

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Himachal Pradesh High Court in Bhartiya Govansh Rakshan Sanverdhan Parishad v. Union of India, directed the Union Government to enact laws prohibiting slaughter of cow and import and export of cow/calf, selling of beef or beef products.

The petitioner raised issues regarding the plight of bovine population in the state and that there is no availability of cow shelters. Petitioner raised concerns regarding how cows are abandoned in the state or are transported to other states for slaughter

The court looked into various literary material highlighting the position of cows like Upnishads and various debates and discussions of constituent assembly, and stated that cows received a lot of importance since time immemorial and are also very helpful in agriculture. The court  also stated that according to Entry 15 of the State List of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, along with Articles 48 and 51A (g) of the Constitution there’s a duty upon the State and the citizens to prevent slaughter of cows, calves and other milch and draught cattle.

Court also referred to the judgment of Supreme Court in Animal Welfare Board of India v. A. Nagarajainterpreting “life” under Article 21 of the Constitution to include all forms of life including animal life.

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