India’s buffalo meat export on edge amid UP govt’s pledge to shut illegal abattoirs

Buffalo meat exports may drop to less than half current levels if a ban is put in place as Uttar Pradesh accounts for about 50% to 60% of India's exports

Pratik Parija, Shruti Srivastava
Updated23 Mar 2017
Buffalo meat exports dropped 2.4% in the first 10 months of the 2016-17 year, according to government data. Photo: Mint
Buffalo meat exports dropped 2.4% in the first 10 months of the 2016-17 year, according to government data. Photo: Mint

New Delhi: Indian buffalo meat producers are waiting to see whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will follow through on a campaign pledge to shut abattoirs in Uttar Pradesh after winning the state’s election this month.

Buffalo meat exports may drop to less than half current levels if a ban is put in place as Uttar Pradesh accounts for about 50% to 60% of India’s exports, said Sunil Sud, a partner at Al Noor Exports. The biggest markets are Vietnam, Malaysia, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, according to the government.

Uttar Pradesh’s priority is to close illegal slaughter houses and put a blanket ban on all mechanized abattoirs, the Press Trust of India reported on Wednesday, citing chief secretary Rahul Bhatnagar. New chief minister Yogi Adityanath is running a poll on his website asking whether the state should have tougher laws on slaughter. So far, 85% of respondents say ‘yes’. India is the world’s second-biggest beef exporter, according to the US Department of Agriculture, however that is buffalo meat or carabeef.

“Since Uttar Pradesh is a big milk-producing state, a large number of buffaloes are culled as unproductive and hence useless to farmers,” Sud said. “If India falters in buffalo meat exports, the biggest gain would be to Brazil.”

Rahul Bhatnagar, chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh, didn’t answer a phone call seeking comment on the possible ban.

In a country of almost 1 billion Hindus who revere cows, India’s expanding meat industry has at times been a flash point. In 2015, a Muslim man was dragged from his home at night and beaten to death with bricks and rods in front of his children in Uttar Pradesh after rumors he had slaughtered a cow. Maharashtra, the second-most populous state and home to the nation’s biggest city, Mumbai, banned the possession and sale of beef the same year before relaxing some restrictions in 2016.

India’s meat industry employs about 22 million people, including more than 15 million people in Uttar Pradesh, according to Sirajuddin Qureshi, managing director of Hind Agro Industries Ltd. Buffalo meat exports dropped 2.4% in the first 10 months of the 2016-17 year, according to government data.

Demand surge

“Banning it will lead to huge unemployment,” Qureshi said. “We were given licenses by the government of India. We are doing legal business.”

The country is set to be the world’s sixth-biggest beef consumer this year, with domestic demand surging more than 30% in the past decade, according to USDA data. Exports in the period have more than doubled, with growth in shipments to Vietnam, China and Africa. Indonesia last year allowed imports of buffalo meat from India, spurring concern in Australia’s beef industry.

“It will be really unfortunate if the Uttar Pradesh government puts a ban on legal licensed abattoirs,” Al Noor’s Sud said. “It has taken us almost 20 years to reach world standard in quality by spending on in-house facilities and laboratories.” Bloomberg

Catch all the Politics News and Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.MoreLess
HomepoliticspolicyIndia’s buffalo meat export on edge amid UP govt’s pledge to shut illegal abattoirs

Most Active Stocks

Bandhan Bank

211.15
09:45 AM | 3 JUL 2024
8.9 (4.4%)

State Bank Of India

839.05
09:45 AM | 3 JUL 2024
12.7 (1.54%)

Indian Oil Corporation

169.35
09:45 AM | 3 JUL 2024
1.05 (0.62%)

Tata Steel

176.65
09:45 AM | 3 JUL 2024
2.15 (1.23%)
More Active Stocks

Market Snapshot

  • Top Gainers
  • Top Losers
  • 52 Week High

M M T C

85.92
09:39 AM | 3 JUL 2024
6.65 (8.39%)

Housing & Urban Development Corporation

301.40
09:39 AM | 3 JUL 2024
23.15 (8.32%)

Gujarat Pipavav Port

230.50
09:39 AM | 3 JUL 2024
17.6 (8.27%)

Cochin Shipyard

2,440.25
09:39 AM | 3 JUL 2024
180 (7.96%)
More from Top Gainers

Recommended For You

    More Recommendations

    Gold Prices

    • 24K
    • 22K
    Bangalore
    73,771.00100.00
    Chennai
    73,986.00890.00
    Delhi
    72,911.00-113.00
    Kolkata
    72,911.00-832.00

    Fuel Price

    • Petrol
    • Diesel
    Bangalore
    102.86/L0.00
    Chennai
    100.98/L0.00
    Kolkata
    104.95/L0.00
    New Delhi
    94.72/L0.00
    OPEN IN APP
    HomeMarketsPremiumInstant LoanMint Shorts