Colombo, September 29: The Sri Lankan government has approved a proposal to ban cattle slaughter in the island nation.
However, it decided to import beef for the benefit of those who consume it.
The Cabinet on Monday approved the proposal to ban cattle slaughter in the country, Cabinet spokesman and Mass Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said on Tuesday, adding that legalising the decision would be done in due course.
On September 8, the Parliamentary Group of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) approved Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s proposal to ban cattle slaughter in the country.
The Cabinet said it will take immediate necessary measures to amend the Animal Act, the Cattle Slaughter Ordinance and other related laws and regulations currently in force in the country.
According to officials, the Cabinet has decided to import beef and provide it at a concessionary price to people who consume it.
A programme will also be launched for ageing cattle which cannot be used effectively for agricultural purposes.
“As a country with an economy based on agriculture, the contribution of the cattle resource to develop the livelihood of the rural people of Sri Lanka is immense,” the Cabinet noted, approving the proposal.
“Various parties have pointed out that the livestock resource that is required for traditional farming purposes is insufficient due to the rise of cattle slaughter and the insufficient livestock resource is an obstacle to uplift the local dairy industry, which enables development of the livelihood of the rural people while reducing the substantial amount of foreign exchange attracted towards foreign countries on imported milk powder,” it added.
According to 2012 census, the over 20 million population in Sri Lanka comprised of 70.10 per cent Buddhists, 12.58 per cent Hindus, 9.66 per cent Muslims, 7.62 per cent Christians and 0.03 per cent others.
The country’s Buddhist majority as well as the Hindus do not eat beef. (PTI)