Defending Maharashtra government's decision to ban cow slaughter, Union power minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said the move was aimed at preventing the killing of healthy milk producing cows.
Saying that 22 states in the country already have in place a beef ban, he said, "There is a beef ban already there (in Maharashtra), which came in when the Congress government was there. All that the current government has done is extended it to a certain set of animals like buffaloes or milk-producing buffaloes.
"Because, in the garb of slaughter, healthy animals were being slaughtered by misusing that exemption in the law and they (Maharashtra government) only sought to correct an anomaly in the law; People have not been stopped from eating beef, perceptions have been created which are inaccurate."
The Maharashtra State Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill (1995) last month secured the assent of President Pranab Mukherjee.
The slaughter of cows was previously prohibited in the state under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act of 1976.
However, the passage of the new Act will ban the slaughter of bulls as well as bullocks, which was previously allowed based on a fit-for-slaughter certificate.