In BJP’s Goa, cattle order is big worry for traders, tourists

Inter-state meat trade stops; minister Sardesai says Central order will hit us

Written by Smita Nair | Panaji | Updated: June 3, 2017 12:29 pm
goa, goa tourism, goa meat trade, cattle ban, cattle sale ban, cattle slaughter, india news, goa news At the Goa Meat Complex in south Goa, no fresh cattle was brought Thursday by any trader. (Representational)

Two nights ago, trucks transporting cattle were asked to return from the Goa-Karnataka check post. Officials at the border post said no certificate would be issued. Goa’s meat trade, which is highly dependent on cattle fairs in Karnataka’s border districts, has been severely hit by the central government notification banning the trade of cattle at animal markets for slaughter and meat.

“This is a huge hit. We reached the border and then we were told. It was futile. We took our trucks back. We called the other traders who were half-way to other fairs beyond Belgaum and stopped them,” Anwar Bepari, president of the Qureshi Meat Traders Association, said.

“For the first time, as a Goan, we are afraid. We didn’t want to take a chance,” he said.

With the state abattoir the only legal and sanctioned infrastructure to slaughter bullocks and buffaloes, this was the “first alert” for the tourist state where beef is a major culinary attraction.

Of the cattle brought for slaughter, the majority come from cattle fairs in Karnataka — Belgaum is the major market given its proximity and “better pricing”.

At the Goa Meat Complex in south Goa, no fresh cattle was brought Thursday by any trader. The facility only has animals purchased last week. Traders usually bring a truckload of cattle and keep the livestock at the Goa Meat Complex resting space, a clean facility outside the main slaughter room. Animals are treated here and physically examined after a resting period — before they are issued a “medically fit for slaughter” certificate by a group of veterinarians authorised by the Goa Animal Husbandry Board.

Of the cattle purchased from cattle farms, 25-30 bullocks are slaughtered daily. The meat is given to traders who then stock it in their supply chain, which eventually reaches the kitchens in Goa. The meat complex has 70 registered traders who are part of the supply chain.

“Currently, we have 45 bullocks in our resting facility. Each animal makes for 100 kilograms of meat, so we are talking of the last batch of 4.5 tonne of meat. We will then have to wait for directives since we cannot take any cattle without the certificate of the animal husbandry officer,” a senior official at the Goa Meat Complex said.

The complex had been revived only last year, shut for eight years. The state spent crores to raise standards and adopt clean methods of slaughter.

“Please understand we are just a service provider. We are waiting for directives from the government’s husbandry department. At this stage, doctors are present at our facility. But once the certificates stop coming with the cattle, then we will have to stop accepting the animals as it cannot be done,” Dr Uday Pednekar, Managing Director at the Goa Meat Complex, said.

Goa prohibited cow slaughter under the Goa, Daman & Diu Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1978. The ban was made more stringent with the Goa Animal Preservation Act of 1995 which doesn’t allow slaughter of bulls, bullocks, male calves, male and female buffaloes, castrated buffaloes and buffalo calves, till a certificate is procured from a state-appointed veterinarian stating that the animal is fit for transport and fit for slaughter with a medical certificate confirming that the animal doesn’t suffer from any illness and has no open wounds.

Traders say the first message they received Wednesday was that veterinary doctors, who issue these certificates, have been pulled out from cattle market fairs in Belgaum. “Without their certificates, we will not get the second bunch of papers which says fit to transport. Without these certificates, these trucks are live targets in an environment like ours today. Those documents have helped us in the past convince mobs and police that we are doing legal trade,” Bepari said.

The total cost of ferrying a bullock, arranging fee for the medical tests, and the purchase is around Rs 30,000.

Vijay Sardesai, the Goa minister in-charge of animal husbandry, said at this stage he doesn’t have any assurance he can give to people, as the notification has to be studied and measures taken. He said with the code of conduct in place until June 14 in view of the panchayat elections, the government is also not in a position to put out directives.

“This is though my personal opinion that this notification will affect us as we depend on inter-state meat trade. This will affect farmers first, as this will directly lead to their penury, affect the meat trade, the leather trade and will hit the hospitality industry which relies on this trade. This will also have an auxiliary effect in Goa as most business are connected to tourism and the hospitality sector which rely on meat. I have had a meeting with the Chief Minister on this and we are looking to study this together. At this hour, I have no concrete plan in my mind,” he said.

The tourism sector is already feeling the heat. “We have been feeling the shortage in supply for two months. Incidents of lynching have affected us badly,” Cruz Cardoza, president of the All Goa Shack Owners Association, said.

According to Cardoza, the association is assessing the impact before it goes to the government. “Russians and Europeans only ask for beef. They don’t like mutton as they hate glands, and they think our chicken is injected. Russians cannot have a meal without ordering a steak and they form our major business. They might move to other shores if this is brought to Goa.”

With a tourism footfall of 600,000 foreign tourists, Goa relies most on its culinary plates, Savio Messias, president of Travel and Tourism Association of Goa, said. “Last night we had a meeting with hoteliers. There is a state of confusion. The queries we got was ‘can we import beef, will that be safe’. We don’t have answers at this stage. We too are in the dark. Here, you have to look at a wider audience of different palates since we have to adhere to international eating habits too. Like Kerala and Tamil Nadu, we might have to see if our state government can put forward our stand,” he said.

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  1. F
    Frederick Dsouza
    Jun 4, 2017 at 10:36 pm
    They want to make cow as a symbol of religion. That means the so called Ru cl created religion as mind control and strugg ​ to protect religion, now that there is ample evidence that religious ins utions are collapsing all over the world. More and more people are openly declaring that they are atheist. That means people don't believe in higher authority so this mind of people the so called ru cl (bankers, biggest corporations owners, some powerful politician) don't like cause then it's like people challenging their authority hence the need to protect cow to protect religion, but same so called Ru cl export beef to earn foreign exchange. Real ru cl are people unity which the so called ru class​will do anything to divide and rule people but they won't be successful because today's people are educate. 'Praja anpad toh raja sukhi' will not work anymore. Quality veg is better than low quality meat.
    Reply
    1. F
      Farooq
      Jun 3, 2017 at 1:42 pm
      All countries have laws regarding animals. Even Chinese law makes it illegal to hunt and buy any of the country's 420 protected species, which include Asiatic black bears, South China tigers, golden monkeys, and giant pandas. The change adopted by the Standing Committee redefines what it means to purchase species, making it illegal for anyone to knowingly buy or consume animals that were poached. The aim of the law is to crack down on the demand for these species, which are widely used in traditional Chinese medicine. Various animal parts are thought to offer orted health benefits, like preventing cancer or relieving back pain.
      Reply
      1. F
        Farooq
        Jun 3, 2017 at 1:34 pm
        In a landmark step for animal welfare, Taiwan has outlawed the consumption of dog and cat meat. Anyone who buys or eats the meat can be fined up to $8,200. Back in 1998 Taiwan made it illegal to slaughter dogs and cats and sell their meat, but an underground commercial market persisted. And now Taiwan has now doubled down on punishment: Those who cause deliberate harm to a cat or dog can be fined up to $65,000, and serve two years of jail time—up from a maximum of one year previously.
        Reply
        1. J
          Joe
          Jun 3, 2017 at 5:34 pm
          Farooq> Nice try. First let the government themselves make up their mind and decide whether this is a ban or not, they are trying to do this slyly so are not declaring it openly. Besides this is not about animal welfare, if it were then why doesn't it extend to poultry, mutton, pork and seafood? It is a political move and the logic behind none of the justifications hold.
          Reply
          1. F
            Frederick Dsouza
            Jun 4, 2017 at 10:34 pm
            They want to make cow as a symbol of religion. That means the so called Ru cl created religion as mind control and strugg ​ to protect religion, now that there is ample evidence that religious ins utions are collapsing all over the world. More and more people are openly declaring that they are atheist. That means people don't believe in higher authority so this mind of people the so called ru cl (bankers, biggest corporations owners, some powerful politician) don't like cause then it's like people challenging their authority hence the need to protect cow to protect religion, but same so called Ru cl export beef to earn foreign exchange. Real ru cl are people unity which the so called ru class​will do anything to divide and rule people but they won't be successful because today's people are educate. 'Praja anpad toh raja sukhi' will not work anymore. Quality veg is better than low quality meat.
        2. C
          chitta
          Jun 3, 2017 at 1:28 pm
          Hindu can only bark but cannot stop Muslim or other to stop eating beef. Hindu will pee in their pants if they try to do this.
          Reply
          1. F
            Farooq
            Jun 3, 2017 at 1:40 pm
            If all Hindus pee towards your country Ppaakistan there will be floods in your Ppaakistan.
            Reply
          2. J
            Jay
            Jun 3, 2017 at 1:21 pm
            Eating beef can lead to an untreatable condition that attacks the brain and is universally fatal, but symptoms can take decades to emerge. Thankfully, a new blood-screening technology can spot the condition, known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, with 100 percent accuracy, perhaps years before it attacks. Misfolded proteins in beef called prions cause both mad cow and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Once they invade the brain, they begin recruiting normal proteins and forcing them to adopt the same abnormal shape. The prions and the blighted proteins clump together forming increasingly large aggregate deposits that wreak havoc on the brain and invariably lead to death. The disease, however, has a long incubation period. “In the case of humans, the estimation goes from several years to a few decades,” says Claudio Soto, a neurologist at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth in Houston. “So it could be that you're exposed one day but take few years to find out.
            Reply
            1. J
              Joe
              Jun 3, 2017 at 5:25 pm
              Jay> Typical mental gymnastics. The government has not yet banned the of tobacco products which they get so much revenue from. The rest of us know exactly what this is all about.
              Reply
            2. J
              Jay
              Jun 3, 2017 at 1:18 pm
              Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease, is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy and fatal neurodegenerative disease in cattle that causes a spongiform degeneration of the brain and spinal cord in humans. BSE is caused by a misfolded protein—a prion the United Kingdom, more than 180,000 cattle were infected and 4.4 million slaughtered during the eradication program. The disease may be most frequently transmitted to humans by eating food contaminated with beef brain, spinal cord, or digestive tract of carcasses. However, the infectious agent, although most highly concentrated in nervous tissue, can be found in virtually all tissues throughout the body, including blood of cows. When it has been transmitted to humans, it is known as new variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob.
              Reply
              1. J
                Jay
                Jun 3, 2017 at 1:12 pm
                Do you know eating beef can get you sick? Here is an article about why you should not eat beef. A U.S. man who developed a rare and fatal brain disease likely got the disease from eating beef while living abroad more than a decade earlier, according to a new report of the case. The man, who was in his 40s when he first got sick, died in Texas in May 2014. Because the condition, known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, is so rare, the man was misdiagnosed and even hospitalized for psychiatric symptoms multiple times before doctors suspected the true cause of his symptoms, according to the report from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Baylor College of Medicine. Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is thought to arise from eating beef which has infectious prions, which are proteins that fold abnormally and form lesions in the brain. In the United Kingdom, there have been nearly 200 cases of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease tied to eating beef.
                Reply
                1. J
                  Jay
                  Jun 3, 2017 at 1:09 pm
                  Most people who have hijacked the Indian media are illogical, Hindu haters, India breakers, unethical and fundamentalist. They think that eating animals okay. It really is time that people stopped thinking of themselves as the superior species who have the right to kill anything that takes their fancy. We actually have NO moral right to exploit other species in any way. The only truly ethical lifestyle is a vegan lifestyle. As for 'liberty and freedom' - the animals don't have any! And only you have to kiII whoever you want?
                  Reply
                  1. J
                    Joe
                    Jun 3, 2017 at 5:20 pm
                    Jay> Don't try and slyly conflate RSS's ideology which is political with hinduism. And don't pretend like this was a law about animal cruelty. Or are you really such a naive guy.
                    Reply
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