Guwahati: Assam produced nearly 34 lakh kg of beef or “cattle meat” and almost two lakh kg of buffalo meat during 2019-20, the state Assembly was informed on Wednesday.
In a written reply to a query by AIUDF MLA Aminul Islam, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Minister Atul Bora said the state produced a total of 5,29,63,511 kg of meat in 2019-20 financial year.
Out of this, “cattle meat” or beef was 33,68,021 kg and buffalo meat was 1,59,319 kg, the minister informed the House.
The remaining meats consisted those of goat (1,59,53,865), sheep (18,83,960), pig (2,02,46,220) and poultry (1,13,52,125), he added.
Bora said as per the 20th Livestock Census of 2019, Assam has a “cattle population” of 1,09,09,239 and buffalo population of 4,21,715.
The state also produced nearly 98 crore litres of milk, including 1.83 crore litres of goat milk, in 2019-20, he added.
In a separate query by Congress MLA Jakir Hussain Sikdar, Bora said the cattle population in Assam saw a growth of 5.84 per cent between the 19th Livestock Census held in 2012 and the next one in 2019.
However, the buffalo population dipped by 3.11 per cent during the same period, the minister added.
On July 12, the Assam government tabled the Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021 in the Assembly, seeking to ban cattle slaughter and sale of beef in the areas where Hindus, Jains and Sikhs are in a majority or within a five-kilometre radius of a temple or satra (Vaishnavite monasteries) or any other institution as may be prescribed by the authorities.
The state currently has the Assam Cattle Preservation Act, 1950, under which consumption of beef is not illegal and it permits slaughter of cattle above 14 years of age with proper certificate only by a veterinary officer of the area.
Once passed by the Assembly, the new bill will repeal the existing Act.
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