Goa Scrambles To Source Beef as Ban in Karnataka Leads To Shortage

The Karnataka Assembly recently passed a stringent Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2020.

3 min read
Image used for representational purpose.

Karnataka government’s decision to introduce a near blanket ban on beef has resulted in a shortage for the red meat in neighbouring Goa.

Chief Minister of Goa, Pramod Sawant, said that with Karnataka and Maharashtra – the two main suppliers of beef to Goa – introducing a beef ban, the Goan government has been forced to look at other states for its supply.

While talking about the decision, Sawant, who heads the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government in Goa, said that he is “committed to ensuring that the 30 percent minority population in Goa are not deprived of beef.”

His statement came after the Council for Social Justice and Peace (CSJP), a wing of Goa Church, on 19 December, urged Chief Minister Sawant to resolve the issue of beef shortage in the state due to stoppage in supplies from Karnataka.

The Karnataka Assembly recently passed a stringent Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2020 on 9 December in the Assembly. While the Bill is awaiting a nod from the Karnataka Legislative Council, passing of the Bill in the Assembly has already resulted in a shortage.

Looking at Other States for Beef: Goa CM

Pramod Sawant, Chief Minister of Goa.
Pramod Sawant, Chief Minister of Goa.
(Photo: IANS)

A large part of the over 25 ton beef consumed in Goa every day comes from Karnataka. The shortage triggered by the beef ban has also come ahead of the Christmas and festive season, when demand for the red meat peaks.

This has led to anxiety among Goa's Christians, who account for around 26 percent of the state's population.

“Currently, there is an issue because Karnataka has suddenly banned beef. Along with Maharashtra, Karnataka was our major source for sourcing live animals and meat. I have asked the Director of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services to look for ways and sources to tackle this situation. For now, we are sourcing live animals and beef meat from other states”
Pramod Sawant, Goa Chief Minister

Opposition Takes on BJP

Soon after the statement, Congress’ Goa desk in-charge and Karnataka MLA Dinesh Gundu Rao took on the BJP for its double standards over the beef ban.

Talking to media, he said, "Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi should have one policy. Let them ban the export of beef. Uttar Pradesh, where Yogi Adityanath is chief minister, is the biggest exporter of beef in the country. How is that happening? It is all hypocrisy, and it is very unfortunate.”

Without taking the BJP’s name, Rao said, “They talk differently (on beef) in the Northeastern states, Goa and Kerala, whereas they speak in different voices when it comes to states like Karnataka, Maharashtra etc.”

He further added that farmers in Karnataka are suffering. “On the one hand, the state government doesn't offer any help to farmers to look after their bulls, cows, buffaloes, while on the other hand, the government says farmers can't sell their cattle. In such a situation, who is going to take care of the cattle?" he asked.

Karnataka Animal Husbandry Minister Prabhu Chauhan was not available for comment.

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