“Beef in the barn, beef in the fields, beef on the streets but no beef to eat”
But ‘no ban in Goa’, says Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar
Although BJP governments in other states have banned slaughter and sale, Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar in a statement to the Indian Express, in March 2015, said the state will never ban beef as it does not believe in interfering with the food habits of its people.
“As the CM, I have to take care of all people in the state including its 38 percent minorities,” Parsekar told The Indian Express. “Christians account for 30 percent of the population while the remaining are from the Muslim community. It is not like they started consuming beef recently; this has always been part of their daily cuisine. How can I ban it?”
This assurance by the Chief Minister came as a relief to most Goans.
Besides Goa, other states like Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand have not imposed beef ban yet.
Something I didn’t know
The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries data reveals that 24 of the 29 states in India have already imposed restrictions and penalties of varying degrees on the slaughter of cows and other bovine cattle. The penalties range from a 6-month imprisonment with a Rs.1000/- fine to a 7 to 10-year jail term, with a 10,000, 50,000 or a Rs.1,00,000 fine (http://www.ibtimes.co.in)
In most states, the ban on cow slaughter has been extended to cover bulls and bullocks and their progeny.
Ill Effects of the ban
The cow slaughter ban has left many people jobless. Many related industries like tanneries have had to pull down their shutters.
The poor survive on beef as an affordable form of protein. Most of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes (SC/ST) consume beef as a staple diet and these people make up a quarter of the country’s population.
In Goa too, the minorities are the ones who consume beef.
India continues to remain the world’s second-largest producer of beef (after Brazil) but most of that is buffalo meat. The beef ban has also spurred a huge underground business, giving rise to about 30,000 illegal and unlicensed abattoirs in India.
Smuggling of cattle across state borders has decreased, rendering many cattle traders jobless.
In drought prone areas, farmers used to sell their cattle for slaughter, to sustain themselves.
Elections are round the corner in Goa. One of the questions on everybody’s mind is ‘Will the government backtrack on their commitment if brought back to power?’.
What are your opinions on the subject?