Police in Bumthang detained five men for allegedly slaughtering a bull in Bumthang since May 22.

The men were arrested after a villager complaint to police that a group of men were dragging a bull towards the forest in Jalikhar at 9:30pm.

Of the five, two are Indian nationals. One man owns a meat shop in Chamkhar and the other works for a private company.

The two other men works for the meat shop and the fifth man works as a security guard at a bank.

Police sources said the men had already slaughtered the bull when they reached the site.

The men told police that the Indian meat shop owner asked the security guard to tie stray cattle and inform him. The security guard was paid commission.

“He then sent two people to slaughter the animal. The meat was sold at the shop claiming to be local beef from Tsirang,” a police official said

Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) confiscated 310kgs of meat and disposed it.

BAFRA’s officer-in-charge, Tshering Tongay, said they levied a fine of Nu 130,200 on the five men. “Actually they are liable Nu 65,100 when we calculate Nu 210 per kg but we doubled the fine amount.”

Police officials said that although no one filed complain about missing cattle initially, they received complaints after the five men were arrested.

“The men confessed to having slaughtered about four bulls,” an official said.

Meanwhile, people in the locality are not surprised with the incident. Many said that there are many cattle left unattended in the forest and such incidences were bound to happen.

Police said they would soon charge the men to court.

Nima Wangdi | Bumthang