Cattle bill inflicts consequences on the leather industry livelihood.

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The controversial legislation adhering to laws against cow slaughter will have a major impact for those working in butchery as well as the employment opportunities of thousands of skilled workers based in the leather industry.

The Yediyurappa led Karnataka Government is all geared up to forward an ordinance which will solidify the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, which was passed in the Legislative Council but not pushed further in Legislative Assembly.

The Bill passed intends to stop the slaughter of cows and other cattle, thereby intending to end beef consumption. The impact will however be in the leather industry, which is inclusive of Dr Babu Jagjivan Ram Leather Industry Development Corporation Limited (Lidkar), operational under the state.

The Economic Survey of Karnataka reveals that there has been a steep increase in the units of leather industries from 60 in 2014-15 to 161 by the end of 2019-20. Also, there has been a rise in the exports over the past some years. The data estimates Rs 562 crore worth exports in 2018-19 and Rs 283 crore till the end of November for the year 2019-20.

N Liganna, Lidkar chairperson, accepted the probability of failure and fear, iterating the law is related to the supplying of raw materials. He revealed that the aged cattle dying of natural causes will be utilized for the development of products. According to the new law, ‘cattle’ can be termed as for cow, calf of a cow and bull, bullock and he or she buffalo prior of 13 years of age, and the slaughter of all of these is prohibited. The exemptions in the law would be for cattle infected with any contagious disease or buffaloes above the age of 13, post certification granted from a competent authority.

An entrepreneur, based in small scale industries of a leather processing firm revealed to Deccan Herald that the small-scale industries will be affected. He said, “We send raw material for processing in Ranipet (Tamil Nadu), from which gloves and other products are manufactured in the city. Now, we have to find an alternative as the machinery we have only works for leather products.”

Priyank Kharge, ex-social welfare minister said the Bill comes with the consequences of various people from different communities whose livelihoods were dependent on the profession.

He said, “A similar legislation in Maharashtra hit the Rs 20,000-crore industry there,” and stated further that Lidhar was regenerated a few years ago deliberating on the fact that leather industry is $5.5 billion worth.

He further said the Bill was more of an economic crisis over food, “Thousands of artisans who were trained by the state government to make leather products will be left in the doldrums.”

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