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Beef bandh! Goa braces for shortage

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad on April 16, earlier this year said that they will impose a total ban on cow slaughter and consumption of beef in Goa in less than two years, without the government’s help. However, it seems that they have almost achieved their goal, in less than two months, albeit thanks to the Central government outlawing the sale of cattle for the purpose of slaughter.

On April 16, a senior VHP functionary Radha Krishna Manori had announced that the organisation will impose the ban of beef in Goa with the help of Bajrang Dal and Durga Vahini activists.

“Like elsewhere in the country, in Goa, too, we are awakening people against the cow slaughter and eating beef. You will have to wait for another one or two years and our Bajrang Dal and Durga Vahini workers will stop cow slaughter in the state,” Manori had said, in Vasco back in April.

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Fast-forward to today, and Goa meat traders have begun expressing a fear about the shortage of beef in the State.

Fear of beef shortage grips Goa

Meat traders across Goa have expressed that a shortage of beef in the State is expected within the next few days if the Karnataka transport authorities continued to prohibit cattle trucks from reaching Goa.

Manna Bepari of the Qureshi Meat Traders Association, Goa, stated that trucks carrying cattle from Karnataka to Goa were sent back from the check-post on National Highway 4A by Karnataka transport officials, fearing public wrath in view of the recent Central government notification banning cattle trade for slaughter.

He said their cattle purchase, which is mostly from places like Belagavi in Karnataka, has been affected. He further said if cattle stock is not available with the Goa Meat Complex, the State abattoir in Usgao in South Goa, then beef availability in the State will be affected.

It I believed that Goa consumes around 30 million tonnes of beef daily. Bepari said the problem was confined in Karnataka, and there was no issue from Goa police or other State authorities.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar tried to calm fears and said that there was no cause for worry.

The Chief Minister who also holds the portfolio of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services, said neither the Goa Meat Complex nor any other association had approached him with concerns over supply of beef. He said he had checked with Goa police at the border that no such complaints were lodged.

Taking cognisance the apprehensions, Union Ayush minister Shripad Naik admitted that there is some anxiety in Goa over the beef ban. “We are talking to the (Union) government about the situation in Goa. We are discussing it,” said Naik.

Information source: The Hindu, Hindustan Times

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