"I am very happy that the President finally gave his assent. We have been trying hard from the last several years to get the bill passed into a law. It not only ensures that animals are not killed, but would also stabilise the agricultural situation.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis too expressed happiness over President Pranab Mukherjee's decision to give assent to the bill.
"Thanks a lot honourable President sir for the assent on Maharashtra Animal Preservation Bill. Our dream of ban on cow-slaughter becomes reality now," Fadnavis said on Twitter.
From now if anyone will be found selling or possessing beef, then he/she can be jailed for five years and fined Rs 10,000.
A delegation of seven state BJP MPs led by Kirit Somaiya, (MP from Mumbai North) had met the President in New Delhi recently and submitted a memorandum seeking assent to the bill.
The memorandum said that the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 1995, passed during the previous Shiv Sena-BJP regime, was pending for approval for 19 years.
The legislation, entitled Maharashtra Animal Preservation Amendment Bill, 1995, was submitted for Presidential assent through a letter dated 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.
(With inputs from agencies)