No one has the audacity to export cow meat from Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Adityanath told a gathering of gau rakshaks, or cow protectors, in Lucknow on Sunday PTI reported. “Any one indulging in cruelty to cows, or even talking about killing cows, will be behind bars,” Adityanath said at an event organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Gauraksha Vibhag.

The chief minister told the gathering there was only one way to protect Indian culture, and that was “to protect gau, Ganga, and (goddess) Gayatri”. “Only the community that can protect this heritage will survive,” he said, according to the Hindustan Times. “Otherwise, there will be a huge identity crisis, which will endanger our existence.”

Adityanath said his was the first government in the country to shut down illegal slaughterhouses. He said he had been in power only for seven months but has already recovered 33,000 hectares of grazing land.

The Uttar Pradesh chief minister’s comments come just a day after a government panel in Madhya Pradesh proposed a slew of measures to take care of cows, including penalising owners who abandon cattle and setting up more cow sanctuaries.

In October, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat said the state will implement the Uttarakhand Protection of Cow Progency Act, 2007, and form cattle protection teams in Kumaon and Garhwal divisions.