Indian state outlaws new meat shops

By Oscar Rousseau

- Last updated on GMT

Strikes have taking place in India this year in protest against a meat crackdown
Strikes have taking place in India this year in protest against a meat crackdown

Related tags India Beef Lamb Pork Poultry

India’s meat crackdown has gathered potency after the state of Haryana banned meat shops from applying for a licence to open shops in Gurugram.

Haryana’s chief finance minister Manohar Lal Khattar told officials not to issue a single new licence for meat shops planning to open in residential areas of Gurugram, one of the India’s richest cities.

Khattar made the announcement as he chaired a monthly meeting of the District Public Grievances Committee on Sunday 8 October.

In a short statement, Khattar’s office said: “The Haryana chief minister, Mr Manohar Lal, has said that no licences would be issued for new meat shops in the residential areas of Gurugram.​”

Livestock ban heaps pressure on traders

It comes after the northern Indian state of Hayrana launched a crackdown on unlicensed slaughterhouses and meat shops in May 2017.

The meat industry clampdown in Haryana, which has seen bans on unlicensed slaughterhouses and attempts to block new meat shops from opening, is a reflection of what is happening nationwide.

In May, a ban on the sale and purchase of cattle​ from livestock markets was implemented across the country by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.

Beef consumption ban

This policy stopped companies or individuals from buying cattle to slaughter. Industry followers suggest this signals India’s withdrawal from the beef export market, despite it being one of the world’s biggest traders in the field.

Beef consumption is a taboo topic in India too. Around 90% of the country’s population are Hindu and do not eat beef because cattle are considered sacred by their religion. This has led to tensions rising among Hindus and other faith groups, like Muslims, some of whom have been hacked to death by angry mobs​ on suspicion of beef consumption.

However, the meat industry is not powerless in what appears to be growing antipathy towards the sector. Amid a nationwide crackdown on animal protein, meat traders in the state of Utter Pradesh have gone on an indefinite strike​ to protest against the Hindu government’s forced closure of slaughterhouses.

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