Gujarat Government withdraws Cattle Control Bill

The Gujarat Legislative Assembly had unanimously withdrawn the Cattle Control Bill after protests from cattle-rearing communities across the state.

Key facts

  • The proposed legislation sought to ban the movement of stray cattle on roads and public places in the urban regions of Gujarat.
  • It covered 8 major cities – Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Gandhinagar, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar and Junagadh as well as 162 towns in Gujarat.
  • The Gujarat Cattle Control (Keeping and Moving) In Urban Areas Bill mandated the cattle rearers to obtain licence to keep animals like stray cows and bulls in cities and towns and get them tagged.
  • If the owner of the cattle fails to tag the cattle in 15 days, he would be punished with imprisonment that may extend up to 1 year or be fined with Rs.10,000 or both.
  • The legislation also prohibits feeding of fodder to cattle in non-designated places in cities as it creates nuisance in public places, especially on the roads.
  • Any individual who assaults officials or create hurdles during cattle catching operations by civic officers, he will face one year imprisonment and must incur a minimum fine of Rs.50,000.
  • The bill was introduced as the practice of keeping cows, buffaloes, bulls and goats in urban regions are causing issues for people living in cities when these animals stray on roads and other public places.

Issue of stray cattle in India

The issue of stray cattle is faced by many states across India. In August, Haryana government informed that about 900 deaths occurred because of road accidents caused by stray cattle in the last 5 years. While over 1 lakh stray animals have been rehabilitated during 2020-21 and 2021-22 to various shelters, around 3,000 people have been injured. In July, the UP government sought to provide shelter to at least 10 stray cows every day in all 75 districts. This state has the largest number of stray cattle in India.

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