Panel Suggests Renewing Beef Exports in India

INDIA - A working group report on animal husbandry and dairying for the 12th Five Year Plan, has recommended lifting a ban on beef exports from India.
calendar icon 2 March 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

The working group on animal husbandry and dairying (2012-17) recently submitted a report to the Planning Commission on the present performance of the livestock sector and its contributing factors including development programmes and policies pursued in the recent past.

It suggested a road map for achieving the targeted rate of growth during the 12th plan while ensuring its sustainability and inclusiveness, reports The Times of India.

Sukanya Kadyan, the United Nations (UN) affiliated International Organisation for Animal Protection's (OIPA) event director in India, flayed the recommendation in the report which says: "There is an existing ban on beef exports. Therefore, it is necessary to revise the EXIM policy to allow beef exports."

The OIPA and even local NGOs like Sukrut Nirman Charitable Trust and People for Animals (PFA), Nagpur, have demanded the report be withdrawn and government should apologize to the nation before 'religious and nationalist people' pour out into the streets in protest.

"Export of beef will not only butcher cows but will also amount to murder of the Constitution and dharma, on which country's foundation has been based," said Naresh Kadyan, India's OIPA representative. The report was more inclined to slaughtering animals rather than protecting them. The matter has been taken up with the President and plan panel, he added.

Quoting directive principles under Article 48 of the Constitution, Kadyan said these clearly prohibit slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle. "We cannot tolerate slaughter of cows or its family at any cost," he remarked.

Kannubhai Savadia, chairman of Sukrut, said his NGO has been sending representations to the Planning Commission for the past four years against meat exports, but strong lobby of traders backed by politicians appears to have prevailed upon the government.

Meat exports were basically to boost foreign exchange but now that the country has sufficient forex reserves, why promote such exports, Mr Savadia asked.

"Allowing beef export would lead to massive slaughter of cows, which is already being carried out clandestinely. Our agriculture ministry is supposed to protect and promote cows instead of slaughtering them," Mr Savadia added.

"The government should stop playing with the religious sentiments of the people. The recommendation exposes double standards. On one hand, cows are revered and students are taught about its importance and protection, while on the other promotion of beef exports is spoken about," said Karishma Galani, city chief of PFA.

Allowing beef exports would lead to farm and food crisis. As per the cattle census conducted in 2007, cattle population has already dwindled. "So why is a need being felt to promote beef exports?" Mr Galani asked.

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