India to become world's biggest beef exporter soon: Report

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New Delhi, Dec 18: India is a country where the 'holy cows' are worshipped as the "Mother Goddess" all across the nation.

But according to news agency Reuters special report, " in the land of 'sacred cows', there is a fury over beef exports' as per the data by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In India, the beef exports mainly consists of buffaloes rather than the 'sacred cows'. The beef consumption in India is reported to be only 2.1 million tonnes a year as compared to the US beef consumption of 11.5 million tonnes!

Statistics show that exports of beef from India are likely to hit close to 1.8 million tonnes in 2013, second only to Brazil, according to an April forecast by the USDA.

The beef consumption in India is reported to be only 2.1 million tonnes a year.

Some officials told the agency that "cow meat is banned from export, but animal rights groups say some finds its way abroad".

Hind Agro sells most of its meat to the Middle East and Southeast Asia, but the government says India's biggest beef buyers are Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Egypt.

China could soon be on the official customer list by buying huge amounts of Indian beef via Vietnam.

Modi's opposition on cow slaughtering

In 2012, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi made his opposition to the booming 'beef trade' clear in a blog on his website.

[Read Narendra Modi's blog]

However, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma had hit out at Narendra Modi accusing him of giving a "political slant" by making "inflammatory" statement on beef exports.

Instead, Sharma said that it would also cause loss of employment to millions of people belonging to the weaker sections of society, engaged in meat production and export.

In Gujarat, Modi-led BJP government has banned the slaughter of cows and transportation of beef but that buffalo meat is not banned.

"Anyone killing cows, including the ones left to stray, will now be fined 115,000 rupees", an official said.

In all, India has half the buffaloes in the world, according to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, and the largest number of cattle, with 327 million head, according to the USDA.

The rapid expansion of the sector, rising prices and demand have encouraged cattle smuggling, animal activists and officials say.

OneIndia News

(With agency inputs)

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