Panaji, Dec 10: The new anti-cow slaughter bill passed in the Karnataka state Assembly on Wednesday is likely to paralyse beef sales in Goa, a state which is largely reliant on the southern state to fulfill its demand for live cattle or slaughtered beef.
“The new law prohibits even the transport of cattle with a jail term. This will make it near impossible for us to bring live cattle to Goa for slaughter,” Manna Bepari, president of Quraishi Meat Traders Association, said on Thursday.
Majority of the beef sold in Goa is sourced from the neighbouring state of Karnataka, especially from the border district of Belgavi. On an average, Goa consumes nearly 25 tonnes of beef everyday, and the demand rises during the tourism season which stretches from October to March.
The red meat is commonly consumed by tourists, as well as by the members of the minority communities in the state, which account for more than 30 per cent of the population.
Over the last few years, supply of beef in Goa’s meat stores has been inconsistent on account of erratic functioning of the state’s only authorised abattoir, the Goa Meat Complex, which is allowed to slaughter cattle. Raids by cow vigilante groups on trucks transporting live cattle as well as slaughtered beef from Karnataka have also taken a toll on the easy availability of the red meat.
Bepari maintains that the supply of beef from Maharashtra had already dwindled on account of the strict laws being enacted in that state and now with the anti-cattle slaughter bill being strengthened by widening the definition of cattle as “cow, calf of a cow and bull, bullock, and he or she buffalo below the age of thirteen years” in Karnataka would mean that very little amount will come from the southern state too.
“In Maharashtra, the law was already strict but now in Karnataka the law has changed too,” Bepari said.