Full Statute Name:  The Punjab Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Act, 1956

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Popular Title:  Punjab Cow Slaughter Act Primary Citation:  153 of 1956 Country of Origin:  India Last Checked:  July, 2022 Date Adopted:  1956 Historical: 
Summary: The Act, specific to the state of Punjab, criminalizes the slaughter of cows and bulls, bullocks, heifers and calves. Beef may not to be sold. The Act provides for the establishment of institutions for the maintenance and care of uneconomic cows. Offences under the Act are punishable with fines or imprisonment.


Chandigarh, Wednesday, June 27, 1956 


TheFollowing Act of the Legislature of the State of Punjab received the assent of the president on.21st June, 1956 and is hereby published for general information 

Punjab Act No. 153 of 1956 

AN ACT to prohibit the slaughter of cow and its progeny in Punjab, 

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Punjab in Seventh Year of the Republic of India as follows :-

1. Short title extent & commencement:

(1) This Act May be called thePunjab prohibition of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955. 

(2) It extends to the whole of the State of Punjab. 

(3) It shall come into force at once. 

 2. Definitions:-In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context. 

(a) "beef' means flesh of cow in any form but does not include fresh of cow contained in sealed containers and imported into punjab; 

(b) beef-products include extraction from beef; Italic 

(c) "Cow" includes a bull, bullock, ox, heifer or calf. 

(d) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this act. 

(e) "Slaughter" means killing by any method what so ever and includes maiming and inflicting of Physical injury which in the ordinary course will cause death. 

(f) "Government" means the Government ofPunjab; and disabled, diseased or barren cow. 

3. Prohibition of Cow Slaughter :-Not with standing anything contained in any other law for the time being in force or any usage or custom to the contrary, no person shall slaughter or cause to be slaughtered or offer or cause to offer for slaughter any cow in any place in Punjab: 

Provided that killing of a cow by accident or in Self defence will not be considered as slaughter under the Act. 

4. Exceptions:-

(1) Nothing in section 3 shall apply to the slaughter of a cow:-

(a) Whose suffering is such as to rander its desructions desirable according to the certificate of the Veterinary Officer of the area or such other officer of the Animal Husbandry Department as may be prescribed ; or 

(b) Which is suffering from any contagious or infections disease notified as such by the Government ; or 

(c) Which is subjected to experimentation in the interest of medical and public health research by a certified practitioner of the Animal Husbandry Department. 

(2) Where it is intended to slaughter a cow for the reasons specified in clause (a) or clause (b) of subsection (1) it shall be incumbent for a person doing so to obtain the prior permission in writing of the Veterinary Officer of the area or such other Officer of the Animal Husbandry Department as may be prescribed. 

5. Prohibition Sale of beef :-Except as herein expected and notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force no person shall sell or offer for sale or cause to be sold beef or beef products in any form except for such medicinal purposes as may be prescribed. 

6. Establishment of Institutions :-There shall be established by the Government or by any local authority, when so directed by the Government, Institutions for the receiption, maintenance and care of uneconomic cows. 

7. Levy of charges offees:-The State Government or the local authority, if so authorised may levy such fees as may be prescribed for care and maintenance or uneconomic cows in the Institution. 

8. Penalty :-

(1) Whoever contravenes or attempts to contravene or abets the contravention of the provisions of section 3 or 5 shall be guilty of an offence punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees or with both. 

(2) Whoever fails to lodge the information in the manner and within the time stated in subsection (2) of section 4 shall be guilty of an offence punishable with simple imprisonment for a term which any may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees or with both. 

(3) Burden of proof:-In any trial for an offence punishable under subsection on (1) or sub-section (2) the burden of proving that the slaughtered cow belonged to the class specified in clause (a) or (b) of sub-section (1) of section 4 shall be on the accused. 

9. Offences to be cognisable & non-bailable :-Notwithstanding anything contained in the code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, an offence punishable under sub-section ( 1) of section 8 shall be cognisable and non-bailable. 

10. Power to make rules :-

(1) The State Government may make rules for the purposes of carrying into effect the provisions of this Act. 

(2) Without Prejudice to the generality of foregoing powers, such rules may provide for-

(a) the conditions and the circumstances under which cows may be slaughtered under sub-section (1) of section 4; 

(b) the manner in which diseases shall be notified under sub-section (1) (b) of section 4; 

(c) the manner in which permission shall be obtained under sub-section (2) of section 4; 

(d) the form and contents of the certificate mentioned in sub-clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 4 and the authorities competent to grant it; 

(e) the manner in which and conditions under which beef or beef products are to be sold under section 5. 

(f) the matters relating to the establishment, maintenance, management, supervision and control of institutions referred to in section 6; 

(g) the duties ofany officer or authority having jurisdiction under this Act, the procedure to be followed by such officer or authority; and 

(h) the matters which are to be and may be prescribed. 

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