Indian Buffalo Meat Facts XV

Indian Buffalo Meat Facts XV

Kerala is another state, besides UP, that slaughters many more buffaloes than the size of its buffalo herd allows. According to the data of the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying & Fisheries (DAHD), the state slaughtered 7.8 lakh buffaloes in 2013-14, while its total buffalo population counted in the Livestock Census of 2012 is only about 1 lakh.

To kill so many buffaloes in a year, Kerala would need to get buffaloes from far off parts of the country, because even the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu has a buffalo herd of only 7.8 lakh, equal to the number that is slaughtered in Kerala annually.

The Kerala numbers numerically prove that there is large-scale long distance movement of buffaloes for slaughter going on in the country despite several states having laws against such movement.

According to the DAHD data, which is generally considered to be a gross under-estimate, Kerala is also the largest producer of cow meat in India. Of the total cattle meat production of 3.3 lakh tons in 2013-14, Kerala contributed 1.4 lakh tons. This required the slaughter of 11.5 lakh cows, calves and bullocks. This number is also much higher than what its cattle herd of 13.3 lakh heads would allow.

So not only buffaloes, but also large number of cows are being imported, more probably illegally smuggled, into Kerala for the purposes of slaughter.

The so-called vigilantes, by interrupting the movement of cattle and buffaloes for slaughter on myriad roads of India, are drawing attention of the nation to a large-scale and mostly illegal activity.

Incidentally, Kerala seems very serious about its beef consumption. Several decades ago, while visiting a university in Kerala, I was surprised to see beef curry as the most popular dish on the menu of the student canteen. The dish seems to be popular in Kerala House of Delhi also. Sometime ago, Delhi police had to post a large contingent there to enforce the right of Kerala House to serve beef curry to its patrons in Delhi. While that right cannot be denied, yet the various states of India can certainly ensure that their cows and buffaloes are not illegally transported to meet the demand of the slaughterhouses in Kerala.

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