Sri Lanka is a Buddhist majority country, and most Buddhists do not consume beef as they consider cows to be sacred.
The Sri Lanka government announced on September 30 that the Cabinet cleared Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s proposal to ban cattle slaughter in the country on September 29.
The Sri Lankan government is, however, looking at ways to start importing beef for those who consume the meat and also planning to provide it at a concessional rate.
Approving the proposal, the Cabinet said: “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.”
It added: “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 the development of the livelihood of the rural people while reducing the substantial amount of foreign exchange attracted towards foreign countries on imported milk powder.”
The Sri Lankan Cabinet has said it will take immediate steps to amend the Animal Act, the Cattle Slaughter Ordinance, and other such laws that regulate cattle slaughter in the country.
Earlier this month, on September 8, Prime Minister Rajapaksa had made the proposal to ban cattle slaughter to the parliamentary group of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP).
One must note here that the members of the hardliner Sinhala-Buddhist groups, many of whom back Rajapaksa’s government, have been clamouring for a ban on cow slaughter for long.
Sri Lanka is a Buddhist majority country, and most Buddhists do not consume beef as they consider cows to be sacred. However, Muslims, Christians, and some Hindus do consume beef in Sri Lanka, for whom arrangements are being made to import the meat.(With PTI inputs)