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No beef hasn’t been banned.

The recent notification by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has run into controversy as it restricts the sale of cattle slaughter in animal markets. In response to the rules, Kerala (with a communist government) has called it a “neo-fascist” move to turn India into a “Hindu Rashtra”, as it bans beef. Well, a close reading of the rules notified – “Prevention of Cruelty to Animals  (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 “ Betrays that beef has not been banned. Rather, it prohibits the sale of cattle through animal markets for slaughter.

This, at a glance seems to mean to a lay man that beef has been effectively banned through the prohibition on selling cattle for slaughter in animal markets. However, this is not true. A Dairy farmer can still sell his cattle from his farm to a slaughter house.

Will this mean that there will be a shortage of meat (i.e., beef?) Well, In my opinion, the prices will shoot up in the coming days due to the fear-mongering, but not in the long run, no. The Meat Industry is an organized one, especially with respect to supplying High quantities of meat. Most Meat producers have their own cattle farms or long term contract with dairy farms to source their cattle.

So there might be an illusory decrease in meat supply in the country, but not an actual one. There might be, however, a decline in the availability of locally sourced meat. In Kerala of course, this is close to non-existent due to the absence of large scale – cattle farmers (or any farmers for that matter). Anyhow, it been curious to observe this form of Malayali assertion of “beef culture” and “Malayali da” tropes. Also, it was amusing to see many people “weep” over the “death” of “Secularism”.

Nice to see that photos of beef dishes and statuses on Beef-eating.

(The rules, by the way, was first notified on 16 January 2017, for the public to comment on. Did you comment? Haha, who am I kidding. Participatory Democracy is an illusion if you don’t participate, folks. )


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