A court in eastern Nepal sentenced a woman to 12 years in prison for killing a cow, considered sacred in the kingdom's predominant Hindu religion, a news report said Monday.
Kripa Bhoteni, 50, was sentenced late last week at a district court in Sankhuwasabha, about 500 kilometers (310 miles) northeast of the capital Katmandu, the Kantipur newspaper reported.
Bhoteni, who is not a Hindu killed the animal and was drying the meat to eat later, according to the report. It did not say which religion she followed.
Cows are considered holy in Nepal, where most of the population are Hindus. Nepalese Hindus worship cows every morning, and in October they hold a one-day festival to celebrate the animal.
"Cows are considered to be sacred not just by the people but also as defined by the laws," Indra Lohani, a lawyer at the Supreme Court, told The Associated Press in Katmandu.
Under the Civil Code, which defines the civil and social laws in Nepal, anyone found guilty of killing a cow can be imprisoned for up to 12 years. Those found guilty of ordering its death face six years in jail.
Another man charged in the same case has fled and police are searching for him, Kantipur reported, reports the AP.