With diet at stake, beef ban evokes strong reactions in Kerala, WB

  • HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram/Guwahati/ Kolkata/ Panaji
  • Updated: Mar 05, 2015 00:55 IST

With Maharashtra banning the sale of beef in the state, transportation of cattle has been badly affected in various parts of the country. The ban evoked negative reaction in most states.

In Kerala, a spokesman of Thiruvananthapuram district meat dealers’ association said, “A government can’t suggest menu for its people. Since Kerala has a unique population blend ban is not practical here.”

Beef constitutes about 40% of the total meat consumed in the state. An estimated one million cattle cross over to the state from neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Karnataka every year for culling.

There’s no cow slaughter ban in NE. But beef selling is restricted to Muslim areas in Assam while it is openly sold in the tribal states.

While Left-ruled Tripura is not inclined to ban cow-slaughter — beef is usually avoided in that state barring hilly areas adjoining Mizoram, the other northeastern states feel the ban is against their right to an important source of nutrition. Beef is part of local cuisine in the hill states, though pork rules.

For Bengal the issue of cow slaughter is an extremely sensitive issue, and attempts to ban it would not only create a law and order situation, but also fan political passions and social issues, politicians of various hues told HT.

The practice of illegal trafficking of cows to Bangladesh, an everyday affair in the bordering districts is believed to be a business of over Rs 16,000 crore.

Beef is in short supply in Goa with shops selling it closed for the third day on Wednesday. A spokesperson for the Goa Meat Sellers Association said the shops were closed because of issues related to short supply of the meat and harassment by animal rights activists.

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