IndiaNewsNetwork.IN | 23rd Sept 2015: According to a Times of India article, the ripple effect of the ban on beef in neighboring Maharashtra has trickled into Goa with meat traders alleging obstacles in transporting cattle into Goa even after fulfilling legal requirements, resulting in erratic supply over the last few months. Goan meat and beef traders told IndiaNewsNetwork.IN that several of them were threatened by radical groups not to try to procure beef from neighboring states. Slaughter of bulls in Goa is not illegal, only cow slaughter is prohibited by law, yet several groups of people have started threatening beef traders in Goa to be ready to face dire consequences if they try to either slaughter bulls or even procure the meat from other places. Beef is a major component of the diet of Christians (and Muslims) who totally consist of over 50 per cent of the Goan populace.
With Muslims set to celebrate Bakri Eid on September 25, the inadequate beef supply has raised apprehensions among the community in the state, says TOI
As part of Bakri Eid, animals, such as sheep, lamb and even bulls, are sacrificed to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim to perform qurbani (sacrifice) of his son Ishmael as an act of obedience and submission to Allah.
Hanuman Parab of the NGO, Govansh Raksha Abhiyan Goa, told TOI, “Our request to Muslims is to not to slaughter bulls for Bakri Eid. Last year, we seized six cows, six calves and 10 bulls from Valpoi and Bicholim. We will keep a vigilant eye out this year as well to ensure there is no such slaughter.”
The president of Goa meat traders association Anwar Bepari said they have received permission to slaughter bulls for three days at the Goa meat complex abattoir in Usgao. “Qurbani of bulls brought by families will be performed at the complex,” he added.
According to TOI which quoted Lyndon Monteiro, president of the Goa meat complex “As far as general slaughtering in Goa is concerned there is a ban only on cow slaughter. Slaughtering for other bovine animals within the reservation of Goa Animals’ Preservation Act 1995 and various orders passed by various courts cannot be stopped.”
Monteiro added that special arrangements have been made at the abattoir from September 25 to 27 to conduct qurbani for Bakri Eid. The total number of animals the complex can slaughter in three days is 900 at the rate of 300 per day.
Beef traders have been alleging for a while now that some activists have been creating hurdles for the trade by intercepting vehicles bringing in the meat and obstructing slaughter of animals at the Goa meat complex.
“NGO representatives have been harassing us for months refusing to allow slaughter of any cattle at the abattoir,” a trader alleged.
The imposition of rules that make it mandatory for traders to produce health and fitness certificates for every bull being brought for slaughter has made it difficult for the smooth conduct of the trade. The livestock available in Goa is limited and animals for slaughter have to be procured from Belagavi in Karnataka and other areas.
“Sometimes, even if we produce all the legitimate certificates, notorious members of the NGOs reject the permit causing us much distress,” said another.
Stakeholders are angry over the biased harassment meted out to them. “Our vehicles are stopped and raided en route in the name of activism. If such was the case, why aren’t the NGOs putting a stop to fish and chicken consumption as well?” demanded a beef vendor.
Parab said, “We are keeping a close eye on the activities of beef traders and police. We have raided supply trucks thrice since April and also tracked the doctor who issued ‘fitness’ certificates to the animals in Belagavi and reported him. We are taking every necessary action to protect cattle.”
(with inputs from the Times of India)