A Maharashtra Bill seeking a ban on cow slaughter, finally received President Pranab Mukherjee's approval, 19 years after it was passed by the BJP-Shiv Sena govt.

The Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill that was originally passed in 1995 by the BJP-Shiv Sena government bans the slaughter of bulls and bullocks in the state.

Now with this new act, anyone found selling beef or being in possession of it can be jailed for five years and fined Rs 10,000.

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Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis thanked the President is his tweet, which read, "Thanks a lot Hon President Sir for the assent on Maharashtra Animal Preservation Bill. Our dream of ban on cow slaughter becomes a reality now".

The new act allows the slaughter of water buffaloes, which is seen as inferior quality meat and makes up only 25 per cent of the total beef market in Maharashtra

The Bill was first submitted to the President for approval on January 30, 1996. Thereafter, several correspondences were exchanged between the state and the Centre for clarification of the effects of the implementation of the Bill on agriculture and farming.

The BJP-Shiv Sena government in Maharashtra, after taking over in October last year, approved the file concerned related to pursuing the approval of the Bill. It was then submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs on November 13 last year.

Seven MPs led by Kirit Somaiya met President Pranab Mukherjee last month, who indicated appropriate action on the measure soon.

The delegation also included Anil Shirole, Gopal Shetty,Nana Patole, Kapil Patil, Sanjaykaka Patil and Sunil Gaikwad