If BJP wants to ban cattle slaughter, stop beef exports: Goa Congress

15 out of the 27 BJP MLAs in the 40-member state legislative assembly are Catholic in religious orientation.
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Panaji, Dec 11: The National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre should ban the export of beef, if the BJP is so committed to banning cattle slaughter in states where the party is in power, the Goa Congress said on Friday.

Addressing a press conference in Panaji, convenor of the Opposition party’s media cell Trajano D’Mello also said that beef would soon be in short supply in Goa, in view of the passage of a stringent law banning cattle slaughter in the Karnataka state Assembly.

Goa imports nearly all its beef from Karnataka in the form of live cattle and slaughtered beef.

“India is the second largest exporter of beef in the world and if the BJP’s policy is to ban slaughter of bulls and buffaloes, then the first thing they should do is to ban the export of beef. Banning of cattle slaughter for public consumption in states and promoting beef exports is hypocritical,” D’Mello told a press conference.

On an average, Goa consumes nearly 25 tons of beef everyday. The demand for beef rises further during the tourism season which stretches from October to March.

The red meat is commonly consumed by tourists, as well as by 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.

Beef sellers in the state have already expressed anguish over the new law in Karnataka, which they said would dry up the sale of beef in the coastal state, especially during the Christmas season, when tourist footfalls and the demand for red meat peaks.

“Most of the ruling party MLAs and Ministers are voracious beef eaters. Are they listening to these cries of anguish over fears of beef drying up from the state’s markets,” D’Mello said.

15 out of the 27 BJP MLAs in the 40-member state legislative assembly are Catholic in religious orientation.

President of the Goa Forward party Vijai Sardesai also expressed apprehension over the impending beef shortage in the wake of the new law passed by Karnataka. He also said that when former Chief Minister late Manohar Parrikar was Chief Minister in 2017, the latter had given an assurance in the state legislative Assembly that he would ensure steady supply of beef to Goa at any cost.

“BJP needs a diversion to create a vote-bank based on divisive politics. This announcement is made just before Christmas. We will have a shortage of beef during the festival if the government does not intervene and make arrangements,” Sardesai said.

–IANS

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