Cong proposes law to counter Assam’s Livestock Preservation Bill

SHILLONG, July 20: The controversial Livestock Preservation Bill 2021 passed by Assam continues to engage Meghalaya stakeholders, mainly due to its “contentious” provisions related to livestock transportation.
The opposition Congress has suggested that the government of Meghalaya develop its own law to ensure the uninterrupted transport of beef to the Meghalaya in view of Assam’s brand new bill.
Congressman Ampareen Lyngdoh said on Tuesday that if the state does not come up with such a law, there will be a lot of hardship in the future.
Stating that it is disturbing that the neighboring state is proposing a law that involves and affects the transportation of food that is considered a state’s staple food, Lyngdoh added, “If a state has proposed a project law, law or law, then the corresponding state, I think, should have its own law so that we protect the interests of the general population ”.
“We respect the religious sentiments of all political parties and citizens across the country, but it is part of our life and if you are going to restrict the passage of cattle for any reason according to your own understanding, then the government of Meghalaya should also propose a bill which is the only way to obtain assurance that there will be no disruption of our eating habits, ”she said.
She observed that the sooner the Meghalaya government does what is needed, the better.
Lyngdoh predicted that this issue will take the Assembly session by storm in the future and therefore urged the government to consider it.
The Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC), on the other hand, submitted a memorandum to Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong highlighting a certain section of said bill, which it said is contrary to the Indian Constitution.
Signaling concern over the issue, HYC expressed fears that the bill could even interfere with livelihoods, ranching and consumption of meat products in Meghalaya.
Since the bill was introduced in the Assam State Assembly, various pressure groups as well as butcher associations here have raised concerns.
HYC on Tuesday called on the Meghalaya government to step in and take action to address the concerns.
The organization met with Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, head of the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department, and submitted the memorandum.
Speaking to reporters after meeting with Tynsong, HYC Chairman Robertjune Kharjahrin said Article 7 of the Livestock Preservation Bill of 2021 violates India’s Constitution as “interstate commerce” falls under from List 42 of the Union List of the Seventh Annex to the Constitution and no state has the power to regulate interstate trade and commerce except by the rule of law adopted by Parliament.
“This provision also affects the federal power of the state of Meghalaya which is of a serious nature. The fact that even the transport of buffaloes is regulated by Assam as stated in the bill, this implies that the spirit of the bill goes beyond appealing to the religious sentiments of Hindus in the state of ‘Assam and if this kind of policy by the state of the neighborhood is allowed, it will have a huge impact in the near future, as Assam can also regulate and prohibit the supply of other food and other goods to the ‘State, which will greatly affect the livelihoods and economy of the state, as Assam is the only gateway to Meghalaya, ”Kharjahrin added.
Agreeing that no livestock should be sold illegally to Bangladesh and other neighboring countries, the group however maintained that Article 7 of the bill restricts the movement of livestock from any location in India via Assam to be transported to any other state. and it also restricts the transport of livestock to any state where slaughter is not regulated by that state.
“This provision is a source of concern for the movement of beef, buffalo and cattle to our state, even for agricultural purposes, as beef consumption is common in the state and Assam being the gateway. for the transport of goods to the state, such legislation will have a far-sighted impact on the eating habits and economy of the state as a whole, ”Kharjahrin added.
Meghalaya sources cattle from many other states in India, such as West Bengal, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar, which are then transported to the state via Assam.
Finally, the group also expressed concerns about the “strong possibility” that religious organizations or some marginalized groups disrupt and restrict the movement of vehicles transporting livestock through Assam to the Meghalaya.
It may be recalled that Chief Minister Conrad Sangma previously argued that the state government would move the Center if this Bill of Assam government hinders the population and economy of the Meghalaya by affecting the transit of cattle to the Meghalaya from other states.
The Assam Livestock Preservation Bill 2021, which was introduced on the inaugural day of the Assam Assembly’s budget session, proposes to ban the transport of livestock from any location in Assam to locations outside the state as well as to prohibit such transportation from locations outside Assam to locations within the state.

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