There is no dip in beef exports from legally approved abattoirs in India, Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said today. The recent crackdown on illegal slaughter houses in Uttar Pradesh is in line with the Supreme Court order to curb environment pollution and protect people’s health, she added. India is the largest exporter of buffalo meat and the country shipped nearly USD 4 billion worth meat in 2016-17. In April, beef exports fell by 7.62 per cent to USD 257.06 million, as per the official data. “As far as I know, the export (of beef) takes place from legal places as quality and standards have to be maintained. I doubt whether illegal slaughter houses were exporting. To say that in the last two months, exports have come down it is incorrect,” Badal told reporters on the sidelines of an event. The government is taking strict action against illegal abattoirs because the Supreme Court had ordered shut down of these slaughter houses due to environment and health hazard. “Many governments had turned a blind eye (illegal abattoirs) due to political reasons,” the minister said. However, the Modi-government is taking steps to implement the apex court order to protect environment and health of people, she added. In March, the UP government had acted against unauthorised abattoirs in the state, forcing the industry to go on strike in March.
In May, the central government banned cattle trade in animal markets for slaughter. According to the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), the cattle trade ban would impact meat exports in the coming months. “There is a need to do necessary changes to address supply side constraints,” FIEO Director-General Ajay Sahay had said recently.