The ban on consumption of beef imposed by BJP-Shiv Sena government in Maharashtra has resulted into a rise of buffaloes being sacrificed for human consumption, with the figure of slaughtering the animal touching an all-time high in the state. According to a report in The Indian Express, over nine lakh buffaloes were slaughtered last year as against six lakh animals culled in 2014-15, the year in which the ban came into effect. According to data collected by the Department of Animal Husbandry, a total of 9,51,516 buffaloes were slaughtered in the state last year, up from 6,13,134 animals killed for meat in 2014-15. Last year's figure is the highest-ever recorded in the last five years. The ban was imposed after the state government obtained the Presidential assent in March 2015 to check the slaughter of animals belonging to cow progeny. The Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act, 1976, bans the slaughter of bulls, bullocks, ox and oxens for meat. The law states that anyone found slaughtering these animals could face a jail term of five years. Figures collected by the department showed that close to three to four lakh such animals, along with an equal number of buffaloes, were slaughtered every year before the new law was implemented. After the new law was imposed, the IE report said, reports of buffaloes being brought to abattoirs have increased. The latest data by the department of animal husbandry has now worried officials. The department said that efforts are needed to check the number of buffaloes being slaughtered. An official said that if ceiling is not put on the slaughter of buffaloes, it may result into erosion of the population of the animal. In 2013-14, the total number of animals being slaughtered was 4,19,338. In 2015-16, the figure was 7,80,968 and in 2016-17, a total of 8,78,937 animals were sacrificed for human consumption. As per the daily, the state had reported production of 1,93,219,19 metric tonne of meat from buffalo, sheep, goat and pigs last year. Also, the rise in number of buffaloes being slaughtered coincides with a rise in the price of meat. It said that the retail price of buffalo meat has increased by almost Rs 38. One has to pay now Rs 147 to buy one kg of buffalo meat as against Rs 109.67 earlier. The report, however, added the price of animals in major cattle markets remained almost stable. Devdatta Palve, secretary of the cattle market of Ghodegaon in Nevasa taluka of Ahmednagar said that there is enough arrival of lactating animals and animals for slaughter. He said that price of a two years old lactating animal is between Rs 50-60,000. Ghodegaon is the largest buffalo market in the state.