Karnataka’s New Cow Slaughter Law Will Cripple Goa’s Meat Supply, Traders Say
The passage of a strict new ‘Karnataka Law for the Prevention of Slaughter and the Preservation of Livestock, 2020’ by the Karnataka Assembly will have a ripple effect in neighboring Goa and likely cripple the state’s beef supply. meat traders and sellers have said.
Goa depends almost entirely for its beef supply on Karnataka. Traders bring in freshly slaughtered beef from neighboring Belgaum district in northern Karnataka or bring live cattle to be slaughtered at the Goa Meat Complex, a government operation and the only notified slaughterhouse in the state.
The locally available livestock is not enough to meet the state’s demand, traders have said.
“We have been doing this business for generations. This bill, if passed by the Karnataka government, will completely stop our business. We will discuss this with the Goa government, ”said Anwar Bepari, a meat trader.
He said that almost 40% of Goa’s population consumes beef, in addition to the demand also coming from the tourism industry and hotels and restaurants, which mainly cater to foreign tourists.
Quraishi Meat Traders Association Chairman Manna Bepari was even more skeptical about the future of the meat trade in Goa.
“The new law even prohibits the transport of cattle with a prison sentence. This will make it almost impossible for us to bring live cattle to Goa for slaughter. In Maharashtra, the law was already strict, but now in Karnataka, the law has also changed, ”he said.
“Thousands of families depend on the meat trade, and even Goa’s reputation as a tourist destination, especially for foreign tourists, is supported by the availability of beef,” said Manna Bepari.
Both fresh meat and sausages sold in the state come from suppliers in Karnataka, and any disruption from the Karnataka side has inevitably caused shortages in Goa in the past.
With Maharashtra and now Karnataka enforcing strict laws on cattle slaughter, Goa has remained isolated. While Goa’s Law for the Prevention of Killing of Cows prevents the killing of cows, the law allows the killing of bulls, oxen, male calves, male and female buffalo and buffalo calves whose killing is permitted subject to certification by ante mortem by a veterinarian.
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Over the years, vigilante groups have grown increasingly powerful and emboldened in their attempts to disrupt the state’s beef trade by bringing cases against the operation of the Goa Meat Complex. On two occasions in recent years, Mumbai High Court in Goa has dismissed complaints from animal rights NGOs that the complex was being operated in violation of existing laws as “flimsy”.
In Goa, around 20 tons of beef are consumed every day. It is consumed mainly by its 26% Catholic and 11% Muslim population, in addition to tourists.
However, the Goa BJP has distanced itself from the BJP government act in Karnataka.
“What they are doing in the Karnataka assembly is their decision. It will be wrong for us to comment on it, ”said Goa BJP President Sadanand Shet Tanavade.
The Goa BJP, including former Chief Ministers Laxmikant Parsekar and Manohar Parrikar, have vehemently defended their government’s stance on the sale of beef in the past.