The Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath’s decision to ban on slaughterhouses came as a shock for all those who have been in the same business. The BJP’s pre-poll promise of shutting down all the illegal slaughterhouses in the state has been started rapidly just after winning the assembly elections with a landslide victory. The butchers in Yogi Adityanath’s hometown refuse to go along with the crackdown on shops selling buffalo meat in the Muslim dominated area Rehmat Nagar. Bablu Qureshi, who earns from his meat shop for his joint family of 20 said, “This is our sole source of livelihood. If the administration forces us to close our shops, we will go to the Gorakhnath temple to meet the chief minister and ask him to arrange alternative livelihoods for us to feed our children.”
The CM Yogi Adityanath is the head priest of Gorakhpur’s powerful Gorakhnath Shrine and also, he was the five-term parliamentarian for Gorakhpur. The Police have started their work with full speed. They are checking the licenses of the meat shops in the Muslim areas like Buxipur, Tiwaripur, Jafra Bazar and much more. After this, the reports will be sent to the state government to decide the future of the shops. The meat of Buffalo is not banned in the state, but the Yogi government is in no mood of promoting the Buffalo meat in the Uttar Pradesh along with cows as it enjoys a sacred status in the Hinduism.
The closure of slaughter houses across the state also came as sad news for the meat lovers. According to News 18, the famous Tunday Kebabi of Lucknow, which is prepared from buffalo meat had to shut down for a while because of lack of buffalo meat in the state on Thursday. However, the shops were opened in the evening and served the iconic dish to the meat lovers. The Tunday Kebabi is a very popular delicacy of Awadhi Cuisine. Lucknow’s Tunday Kebabi are famous all across the country. “This is for the first time that we have to shut down our shop as we had no beef (buffalo meat). Our specialty is beef (Buffalo meat) kebabs and people come here from all over the world to taste it. Yesterday, our shop was closed and today we have opened it with a change. Today, we are selling kebabs made out of chicken and mutton for the first time from this shop… If this situation continues, then we might be never able to sell original Tunday kebabs again,” said the owner of the popular deli Abu Bakr to the News 18.
The three meats and fish selling shops were set on fire by unidentified persons in Hathras on Wednesday, which created a panic situation in the area. The owners of the shop said that all of their stock was burnt in the fire. The superintendent of Police Dilip Kumar Srivastava said, “Unidentified persons set ablaze three shops selling fish and meat. A FIR has been registered against them.” It was in the Bharatiya Janata Party’s manifesto that they will take stern actions against the illegal slaughterhouses when they will come into the power. On Tuesday, a slaughterhouse was sealed by the district authorities in the Kamalgadaha locality for allegedly being run illegally. The officials stated that the slaughterhouse was already shut down in 2012, but they continued working in an underground manner. Adding to this, even the Ghaziabad Police sealed the 10 meat shops and four slaughterhouses, which were supposedly running in an illegal manner.
Here are some of the key points about the Meat Production in the Uttar Pradesh
- The official data shows Uttar Pradesh accounts the highest share of the country’s total population of Buffaloes. According to the RTI reply by the Animal Husbandry Department (last year), the Uttar Pradesh has the second largest number of slaughterhouses followed by Maharashtra. The RTI revealed that Maharashtra has 316 abattoirs whereas Uttar Pradesh has 285.
- The Uttar Pradesh produces 7,515.14 lakh kg of buffalo meat, 1171.65 lakh kg of goat meat, 230.99 lakh kg of sheep meat, and 1410.32 lakh kg of pig meat in 2014-15. These figures also include the meat processing plants in the state.
- In India, there are 72-government approved abattoirs-cum-meat processing plants at present of which 38 are in the Uttar Pradesh only.
- According to the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) list of government approved slaughterhouses, there are only 30 across the country, but more than half based in Uttar Pradesh alone. As of now, out of 38 slaughterhouses in the state (Aligarh – 7, Ghaziabad – 5) 37 of its produce and export buffalo meat.
- The Muslim dominated countries are the major destinations where most of the export is done like Egypt, Saudi-Arabia, Iraq, and Malaysia. In 2016, India has exported 13, 14,158.05 metric tons of buffalo meat worth Rs 26,681.56 crores to the world, which is a huge number.
- The ban on slaughterhouses could lead the loss of at least Rs 11,350 crore in terms of revenue from exports. According to the Department of Animal Husbandry of Uttar Pradesh, the state exported 5, 65,958.20 metric tons of buffalo meat in 2015-16.
There is no doubt that the Yogi’s government is doing good by taking stern actions on the illegal slaughterhouses, but if the government bans the export of Buffalo or orders closure of slaughterhouses, then it will not only cause the meat traders but also the state. We hope that the Yogi Adityanath’s government will not close the slaughterhouses as it will make the meat traders jobless.