Earlier this month, the Indian state of Maharashtra instituted a similar law, making the sale or possession of beef punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Cattle are already protected in many Indian states, due to the significant presence of Hindus, who view cows as sacred. The recent efforts to strengthen existing legislation have been initiated by India's leading political party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, which has ties to Hinduism.
Despite its large Hindu population, India is one of the world's largest producers of beef and leather. Though this bill's apparent penalties are extreme, increased legislation could be great news for India's cattle, many of whom experience terrible abuse.
"[Indian] Prime Minister Narendra Modi really is hurt with the fact that despite cows being sacred in our religion and society, we are one of the largest exporters of beef," Haryana education minister Rambilas Sharma told India Today.