India tightening beef exports, ban cow slaughtering


(New Delhi-NewsHalal-Dhu-AlHijjah 25, 1436, October 9, 2015) India the world largest beef exporter tightening beef exports and imposed ban on cow slaughtering in number of states causing unrest in the country where large number of Muslims and other minorities including some Hindu casts consume cow meat.

India declared plans to set up laboratories at ports to test for illegal cow meat exports, as controversy rages over the murder of a Muslim man accused of eating beef. Cow is a consumable animal in most of the religions except some Hindu casts.

Most of Indian states ban the slaughter of cows – considered a sacred animal by India’s Hindu majority, with jail sentences for violators. However, the slaughtering of buffaloes is allowed.

Junior Agriculture Minister Sanjeev Kumar Balyan reportedly said the laboratories would add an extra level of checks for illegal beef passing through ports, with all meat exports strictly regulated by the government.

“It has been decided to set up labs at ports to check illegal export of cow meat,” Balyan told reporters, adding that the checks will focus on Mumbai, which is the main point of exit for meat exports.

While authorities say they have received no reports of illegal beef exports, the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party government has come under increasing pressure from Hindu hardliners to do more to save cows. Indian Prime Minister Naredra Modi himself is a Hindu hardliner often speak against Muslims.

Last month a 50-year-old Muslim man Mohammad Akhlaq was dragged from his house on the outskirts of New Delhi and murdered by a Hindu mob over rumours he had stored and eaten beef.

Victim’s 22-year-old son was seriously injured in the attack and has been in intensive care at a nearby hospital.

Despite the slaughter of cows being widely banned, India ranks as the world’s top beef exporter thanks to buffalo meat exports, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

It is expected to export 2.4 million tonnes of beef in 2015, compare to Brazil’s 2 million tonnes.

Hardliner Hindu groups have long pushed for a national ban on the slaughter of cows, but moves to protect the animals have intensified since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in last May. Muslims all around the country protesting against the beef ban but their voices are powerless as Hindu hardliners nationalist party of BJP is controlling the parliament and legal departments to push their agenda.

Large number of farmers in India illegally export hundreds of thousands of their cows and other animals to Pakistan and Bangladesh where beef is a popular daily food.