As the Yogi Adityanath Yogi government goes after mechanised slaughterhouses, meat producers in Uttar Pradesh say the action conflicts with the Centre's policy of encouraging the meat industry and are considering going to court against it.
"The Centre has been encouraging the meat industry and the food processing ministry too provides aid of upto 50 per cent to support them. But the UP government has ordered a ban on all mechanised slaughter houses," a senior functionary of the All India Meat and Livestock Exporters Association said.
"It is in contravention to the central government policy", the functionary, who wished not to be named, said.
He said that Uttar Pradesh accounts for nearly 50 per cent of India's total meat exports and such a decision would affect the livelihood 25 lakh people directly or indirectly.
The association "supports banning illegal abattoirs" but opposes the move to shut down all the mechanised ones, he said.
If the state government brings an ordinance in this regard, the Association would approach the court, he said.
"We are keeping a close watch on the developments and will wait. An organised industry should not be dealt with in this manner," he said.
In the past three months the industry has suffered huge losses due to demonetisation and the closure of mechanised slaughter houses will add to the woes, he added.
As per estimates, the country exports meat products worth Rs 26,685 crore annually and with the closure of slaughter houses in UP it will come down to half, the association functionary lamented.
In its pre-poll manifesto, the BJP had said that if voted to power, it would shut all the illegal slaughterhouses and impose a blanket ban on mechanised abattoirs. And immediately after assuming office, Adityanath government has gone after such abattoirs with full gusto.
IMAGE: People sitting outside a slaughterhouse that was sealed by the authorities for illegal functioning, in Allahabad. Photograph: PTI Photo