Mumbai: The directorate of forensic science laboratories (FSL) in Maharashtra has apparently developed a portable kit which can determine if a meat sample contains beef or not.

The "Cow Meat Detection ELISA Kit" can provide results within half-an-hour, said K.Y. Kulkarni, director of FSL. The development comes amid controversies surrounding beef ban. The BJP-led government in the state has enacted Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act which bans the slaughter of bulls too, besides that of cows.

“With this kit, officials would be able to examine meat samples on the spot," Kulkarni said. “We have been working on the kit for the last few months along with Hyderabad-based scientist Dr Bhanushali. All 45 mobile FSL vans in the state will have this kit soon," he said. The kit will help police secure more convictions in cases of beef possession or transportation, he said.

If the meat sample fed into the kit contains beef, it turns yellow. Then it shall be sent for further confirmation to FSL, he said. Each portable kit is expected to cost around Rs8,000. As the kit will help determine if the sample contains beef or not on the spot, police need not make arrests or seizures on mere suspicion, Kulkarni said.