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Sri Lanka to ban cattle slaughter, import beef

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will ban cattle slaughter by changing existing laws and import beef for consumers, under a proposal by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa approved by the cabinet of ministers.

Sri Lanka’s Animal Act No.29 of 1958 and the Cattle Slaughter Ordinance No 09 of 1898 will changed to ban slaughter Cabinet Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwelle said.

The ban will go into effect after implementing a “suitable program for ageing cattle which cannot be used effectively for agricultural purposes,” the government said.

It is not clear whether retirement farms will be built for cattle.

There have been questions raised what dairy farmers will do for ageing cattle, which is now sold for slaughter, and whether the ban will discourage cattle farming.

Beef will be imported and given at ‘concessionary prices’ for people who consume beef”.

The cabinet note however said cattle slaughter would be banned to help expand the cattle stock of the dairy industry and save foreign exchange used for the import of milk.

In Sri Lanka aged cattle including water buffalo, and younger bulls are sold for beef. There are underground markets for wild boar.

Already many items are smuggled including turmeric after an import ban.

India has also slapped restrictions on beef, which is mainly a business connected to the Muslim community. Cows are linked to Lord Krishna in the Hindu tradition.





Sri Lanka also has a Hindu-Bhuddist history where migrants and emperors from the subcontinent created one of several Indianized kingdoms or colonies displacing a native culture involving ancestor and serpent worship.

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