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Home > News > Report

Kerala opposes ban on cow slaughter

George Iype in Kochi | August 19, 2003 18:39 IST

The Union Cabinet's decision approving a bill banning cow slaughter has put India's largest beef-producing state Kerala in a predicament.

Fearing that the proposed legislation -- Prevention of Cruelty to Cow Bill 2003 -- will create social and economic tensions, Kerala Chief Minister A K Antony will soon submit a report on why Kerala cannot implement the ban.

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The bill, which seeks to prohibit the slaughter of cows anywhere in the country,may be introduced and passed in the current session of Parliament. Killing a cow will then invite imprisonment of up to five years and injuring the animal will attract a fine of Rs 5,000.

But Kerala's Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Minister K R Gowri says the state will not implement the proposed ban. "Beef constitutes a large chunk of total meat consumed in Kerala and exported from the state. While a ban on cow slaughter is considered religious and holy in some states, the move will be detrimental to Kerala," Gowri told

"The animal husbandry department is preparing a detailed report on how the prohibition of cow slaughter will socially and economically affect the state," she said. "Chief Minister Antony will submit the report to Prime Minister Vajpayee."

According to statistics from the animal husbandry department, beef constitutes 40 per cent of the total meat consumed in Kerala. Last year, the total consumption of beef in Kerala was 2,49,000 tonnes, the highest in the country.

Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura are the only states that permit cow slaughter.

Kerala produces the most beef mainly because it exports the meat and also sells it to other states where cow slaughter is banned.An estimated one million cows from neighbouring states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are brought to Kerala every year for slaughter.

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Some years ago, realising the potentialin the beef business, the state government established a company, Meat Products of India, to set up modern abattoirs exclusively for beef export,strengthen laboratory facilities to ensure quality beef, and explore new markets. MPI last year sold 130 tonnes of beef.

MPI director Ani S Das said: "Beef is the staple diet of an overwhelming majority of people in Kerala. A ban on it will be disastrous because it will even affect the state's public health system."

He said the cow slaughter legislation will hit the state government's ambitious plan to explore new export markets for beef. The government is setting up a project to create a disease-free zone for the cattle population across Kerala.

The beef market in Kerala is estimated to be worth Rs 170 crore [approximately US $37.04 million]. "A ban on cow slaughter will create unprecedented social and economic problems in Kerala as lakhs of people directly or indirectly depend on the trade," Das added.

More reports from Kerala

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Number of User Comments: 9

Sub: cow slaughter

Dear sir I am a keralite and a hindu. I dont think eating beef is against anyone's religious beleives. if cow killing is a sin, ...

Posted by Jayakumar

Sub: This will jeopardise the whole goal behind the ban

This move of allowing cow slaughter in some states will jeopardise the very goal behind the ban. The states not accepting this act will become ...

Posted by Sasanka

Sub: kerela doesnot count

with its 20 mps in bjp's hindu zeal. I dont understand why govt is stepping into such irrelevant fields. People who dont want shouldnot eat ...

Posted by tom

Sub: why to ban cow slaughter

it's all politics and nothing. our leader just know how to use the religious sentiments poor voters. if they were so respectful towards cow not ...

Posted by hardstone

Sub: beef without slaughtering cows ?

I wonder if the ban is only on the slaughter of cows or does it include bulls also? How does anyone expect the beef-eaters to ...

Posted by Jarjum



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