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Guwahati: The Assam government Monday moved an amendment in the Asembly seeking to make The Assam Cattle Preservation Act, 2021, more stringent with regard to investigation procedure and facilitating utilisation of cattle for animal husbandry and agricultural purposes.

The Assam Cattle Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 2021, was laid in the House by Industry and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary on behalf of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on the first day of the winter session of the Assembly.

The original legislation to regulate the slaughter, consumption and transportation of cattle in the state was passed in the Assembly on August 13.

The statement of objects and reasons for the amendment mentioned that the changes are being proposed “to remove certain existing restrictions with the aim of facilitating utilisation of cattle for animal husbandry and agricultural purposes”.

The amendments also seeks to “ensure strict implementation of the penal provisions of the Act’ and therefore, new provisions regarding investigation procedure have been proposed.

The proposed amendment bill seeks to scrap the provision in the principal act wherein the state government was authorised to exempt certain places of worship or certain occasions for slaughter of cattle other than calf, heifer and cow for religious purposes.

It also seeks to allow transport of cattle from one district to another within the state by issuing permit to agencies and farms registered under the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary department for bona fide agricultural or animal husbandry purposes or for transportation of cattle for trade for the said purposes.

However, transport of cattle to any district within the state that has international boundary is sought to be prohibited through the amendment bill.

Further, it seeks to allow the sale of the seized vehicles, boats, vessels and others except cattle, after being produced before the appropriate court during inquiry or trial.

The amendment sought authorisation of the investigation officer to attach or seize documents relating to moveable and immovable property acquired by a person or his/her family members against whom a case has been registered under the principal act within six years prior to the registration of the case.

The burden to prove that the attached or seized property was not acquired illegally through sale or transportation of cattle in violation of any provision of the principal act will be on the affected person.

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