LUCKNOW: The clampdown on slaughter houses in Uttar Pradesh has created an atmosphere of uncertainty and unease among the people engaged in the industry, so much so that they are contemplating shifting base to other states. During the last two months, meat exporters, who cater to over 50 nations, have suffered losses to the tune of `4,000 crore due to cancellation of export consignment orders.
Though so far the State government has issued orders only to put a leash on cow smuggling and closure of ‘illegal’ slaughter houses operating for years right under the nose of authorities, panic and confusion are seeping into the sector.
UP is not only the largest producer of meat in the world, but also contributes over 60 per cent to India’s share in global production.
The BJP, which has assumed power in UP with a huge mandate, is keen on delivering the promise of putting a leash on illegal slaughter houses along with mechanised abattoirs, promised in its election manifesto. However, the meat producer community feels harassed at the hands of the authorities.
Lamenting over the ongoing situation in the State, a senior office bearer of Mumbai-based All India Meat & Live Exporters Association (AIMLEA), an umbrella body of registered meat exporters, said a productive animal is never slaughtered at legal and mechanised abattoirs. Only unproductive buffalos are slaughtered and it has been a legal practice for more than 40 years.
According to data available with AIMLEA, the crackdown will impact a workforce of over five lakh engaged in the industry directly or indirectly. Opposing the practice of cow slaughter, the AIMLEA office bearer said anyone who indulges in such a practice should be hanged, but what was going on in UP seemed to be a witch hunt.
While the AIMLEA office bearers are trying to meet the CM for the last three days to put forth their case, they are yet to get a hearing.
Meanwhile, the Opposition on Thursday raised the issue of the ongoing action against illegal abattoirs and anti-Romeo squads in Uttar Pradesh and claimed that a particular caste and a community were being targeted by the government. Union Minister for Home Affairs Rajnath Singh said the government would look into any specific instance if it’s brought forward.