President Pranab Mukherjee gave assent to the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill 1995 following its 20-year pending status, with offenders now liable to a five-year prison sentence and a fine of Rs10,000 (€145).
According to the Indian Express, this particular Bill was the oldest pending Bill, having been enacted by the then BJP-Shiv Sena government. A previous law dating back to 1976 prevented the slaughter of cows in Maharashtra, but, according to The Express, this Bill bans the slaughter of bulls and bullocks, while still allowing for the slaughter of water buffalo.
According to the Report of the National Commission on Cattle (Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India), "of all beings, the cow is treated, in India, as the most sacred and sanctified".
The chief minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis welcomed the news, along with many others.
Last month GlobalMeatNews reported that buffalo meat suppliers in the state of Maharashtra, which includes Mumbai, had called a strike after being faced with violent attacks on vehicles transporting cattle in the area, by those against the slaughter of any bovine species, on religious grounds.