Bone-meat export banned

New Delhi, Aug 30 | Updated: Aug 31 2006, 05:30am hrs
The government has banned exports of meat with bone, following concerns expressed by importing countries about health hazards. Of Indias total meat exports of over Rs 2,600 crore, meat with bone constitutes over Rs 500 crore.

The decision to ban exports of meat with bone was taken last week after technical suggestions given by Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda), the ministries of food processing industries, agriculture and commerce. However, the government is hopeful that the ban will result in a spin-off as more people would be employed to add value and process the meat.

Exporting meat with bone amount to exporting carcass. Sometimes, the bone may degenerate by the time the consignment reaches its destination and causes health hazard. We dont want the countrys meat exports to get a bad name. This is a pre-emptive step, director general of foreign trade KT Chacko said.

Major destinations for exports are Malaysia, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Georgia, UAE, Egypt and Angola.

Total meat exports and related products between April 2005-March 2006 were worth Rs 2,647.49 crore, up 39.3% from last years Rs 1900 crore.

All-India meat and livestock exporters association member Parvez Qureshi said, the ban would hit the industry hard. Calling the decision a negative step, he added, the association has asked the government to reconsider the decision. Earlier, we thought only buffalo meat with bone would be banned. But banning all kinds of bone-meat is bad, especially since there is no case of foot and mouth disease (FMD) or bovine spongiform encephalitis (BSE) in India, he said.

Also, two years ago, in a major reprieve to Indian meat exporters, Saudi Arabiaa major consumer of meat products had lifted a ban on buffalo meat import from India.