Myanmar has announced a nationwide ban on cow slaughter.
The move was announced on Sunday, which means that all citizens can now eat beef, but only those aged 15 or over can buy it.
The government also said the ban will only apply to meat from cows slaughtered in the past five years.
The announcement follows an order by the state government last month that all meat in the country would be banned, although it is not yet clear if the move is meant to apply to pork or poultry.
The state government said in a statement on Sunday that beef, pork, chicken, and beef products would be restricted to “meat, meat products, meat parts, and meat products of pigs, goats, cows, sheep and other livestock species”.
The announcement was welcomed by the animal rights organisation Save the Children.
The organisation said the move was “an important step towards ending the slaughter of animals for food in Myanmar”.
The organisation also urged the government to implement a “zero tolerance policy” on beef consumption, and called for a ban on all “cruelty-based methods of animal slaughter”.
“As a result of the new law, beef, chicken and pork products are banned and the animals killed for food will no longer be able to live in the land,” the organisation said.
“It is a cruel and barbaric practice that we call ‘cow slaughter’.”
Image copyright AFP Image caption The ban will not affect those buying beef in shops or online, but is not currently being enforced at restaurants, restaurants and markets Image caption Beef is sold on the streets of Yangon, a centre of ethnic Myanmar and home to a large Rohingya minority.
It was the latest development in a war that has seen the ethnic minority population number more than 90 million.
A number of cities have been hit by clashes, including Mandalay, Rakhine state and other areas of the country.
Many Rohingya refugees have sought refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh.
More than 6,000 people have been killed in the violence.
There are reports that at least 1,200 people have died, and more than 5,000 injured.
Some of the deaths have been attributed to attacks by security forces and Rohingya militias.