NEW DELHI: Amid the raging debate over cow slaughter, Russia has banned Buffalo meat imports from India after its observers found Foot and Mouth Disease virus in a consignment. According to sources, Russia had earlier this year decided to import buffalo meat from India following prolonged talks and inspection of meat processing units in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.
“The decision will hit at least three meat processing units in Aligarh, Barabanki and Rampur in Uttar Pradesh and another unit in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. Russian inspectors found the virus in the meat during examination of consignments and immediately took the decision to stop import from these units,” the sources said.
They added that the government has asked these units to ensure that such lapses do not recur.
The government has laid down standards for export of meat, which include standards for abattoir, processing plants and for various meat products.
As per the existing policy, each export consignment is subjected to compulsory microbiological and other tests and a comprehensive pre-shipment inspection is issued by the government veterinarian.
India is the world’s largest beef exporter — which is actually Buffalo meat, not cow meat. Meat of cow, oxen and calf is prohibited under the foreign trade policy for export. The figure related to buffalo meat exports in the financial year 2014-15 shows growth of 10 per cent with total exports touching `29,282 crore.
But, the latest figure released by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) says buffalo meat exports between April-August 2015 have gone down by 8.82 per cent.
The APEDA, which comes under the Ministry of Commerce, says in April-August 2014-15, India exported 5,35,299 MTs of buffalo meat, earning `10382 crore. However, this year during the same period, India’s buffalo meat export was only 4,68,381 MTs, which earned the country a total of `9,466 crore.