Starting August, the Maharashtra Police will start using meat detection kits to check if the samples they have seized are that of beef, reported the Hindustan Times on Friday. The kits will test the meat and give the result within 30 minutes, said forensic science laboratory director Krishna Kulkarni.

Around 45 forensic vehicles will get the kits, worth Rs 8,000 each. A single kit can test at least 1,000 samples of meat, a senior police officer said. If the detectors show a change in colour, the test is positive, Kulkarni told CNN News18. The samples, which test positive, will be taken to laboratories for further analysis, he said, adding that the kit will help police register a First Information Report on a prima facie basis.

Around 100 police personnel will be taught how to operate these kits, of which the first batch of 25 have already started training. The anti-beef unit will be selected on the basis of their educational qualifications, with preference for those with a degree in science, Kulkarni said.

The Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act, 1976, bans the killing of cows and calves.