Is beef banned in India?

9 Sep 2022  Read 29882 Views

The term "beef" refers to dairy cattle's meat, particularly skeletal muscle. People have been eating beef from the beginning of time. The nutrients protein and carbs are both abundant in beef. India consumes the third-most meat globally and contributes 25% to global meat output. The United States, Brazil, and China are the top three beef consumers globally.

According to the reports, there were only 5 million stray cattle on Indian streets in 2012, but now there are an estimated 40 million plus unproductive cattle at risk of being abandoned. The Hindu population in India considers cows sacred and does not support their slaughter. Let us discuss the whole idea of the Beef Ban in detail.

Why is Beef Banned in India?

Yes! But it depends upon the states in India. Let's have a look at these reasons for ban:

  1. Hygiene issues - Studies of Indian cattle slaughterhouses have revealed poor hygiene and a high prevalence of meat-borne illnesses.

  2. Religious sentiments – Hindus consider the cow sacred. Cows are often referred to by Hindus as “Mother Cows.”

  3. Animal cruelty- PETA and other organizations that advocate for the humane treatment of animals have accused slaughterhouses in India of treating animals cruelly. In February 2017, the Indian Supreme Court ordered state governments to shut down any illegal slaughterhouses and create enforcement committees to oversee how animals used for meat and leather are treated.

Constitutional Perspective

Bos Indicus (a species or subspecies of domestic cattle originating in the Indian sub-continent) is intended to be protected by Article 48 of the constitution. The government created Article 48 for the welfare of cattle and to take steps to secure the cattle wealth of India in response to the ongoing requests from associated religions for action to be taken to prevent cattle slaughter.

Know what Indian laws have to say on the protection of animal rights? Click here

Article 48 of the constitution of India states that “Organisation of agriculture and animal husbandry The State shall endeavor to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle”

The nation's second-most populous state, Maharashtra, which also includes Mumbai, banned meat dishes and expanded its ban on animal slaughter. Those engaged in the practice might face up to five years in prison and a fine of Rs 10,000. A comparable law was also passed by the state of Haryana. In addition, only 7 States and UTs currently do not have laws governing the butchering of cattle, if we are speaking honestly.

There is a provision in the State List for the “Preservation, protection and improvement of stock and prevention of animal diseases; veterinary training and practice” and the “Ponds and the prevention of cattle trespass” in the 15th and 16th entries, respectively, for cattle preservation in the state list of the Constitution of India.

To learn more about Fundamental Rights & DPSPs. Don't miss enrolling on our Constitution course.


Beef Banned States in India

There is no state ban on beef in West Bengal, Kerala, and North-Eastern states such as Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, and Sikkim. In most states, cow slaughtering is declared illegal; for example, in Tamil Nadu, cow slaughtering is banned by up to 3 years in jail and a Rs. 1000 fine, but slaughtering economically worthless animals is prohibited. Similarly, in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, offenders will be punished with imprisonment of 6 months and a fine of Rs. 1000. In Gujarat, slaughtering of cow, calf, bull, and bullock is banned, and there is a punishment of Rs. 50,000 and 7 years of jail and, etc.

The above state law shows that no state law explicitly prohibits beef consumption. State laws regulating cattle slaughter are lacking in uniformity. The most stringent laws are in Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand, where cow slaughter and their offspring, including bulls and bullocks of all ages, are unquestionably prohibited. Some states prohibit the complete slaughtering of cattle in any manner, but then also, but animals across the border are illegally slaughtered. There should be a uniform law for preventing the slaughtering of animals which is impractical in India because of diverse populations, religious sentiments, and economic factors.


The idea of a welfare state emerges from the fact that law in a nation like ours can't fulfill every person's desires. Every law created has a specific aim, and as long as this aim doesn't undermine the fundamental foundation of the constitution, it must be assumed that this aim is for the benefit of the people. Therefore, it is essential that our own representatives propose legislation prohibiting the slaughter of cattle in several states and that the judiciary uphold them to give the socialist ideal stated in our preamble substance. A distinctive and desired characteristic of a democracy is the scrutiny and critique of legislative actions and judicial rulings, which results in a positive public discussion. To further ensure that our faith in the hallmarks of our democracy is not quickly misplaced, caution must be taken to ensure that these debates and discussions are not used as a forum to foster a sense of insecurity and mistrust toward constitutional institutions. This could ultimately impede the growth and development of democracy.

About the Author: Gurpreet Kaur Dutta | 81 Post(s)

A legal content writer who pursued BBA-LL.B.(H) from Amity University Chhattisgarh. She has a keen interest in corporate and IPR sectors. 

Liked What You Just Read? Share this Post:

Finology Blog / Legal / Is beef banned in India?

Wanna Share your Views on this? Comment here: