Indian Buffalo Meat Facts XVI

Indian Buffalo Meat Facts XVI

Technocrats and bureaucrats running the animal husbandry policies of India have decided to privilege the rearing of buffaloes over cows in order to bypass the Indian injunction against the killing of cows. This, of course, is a malicious misunderstanding of the injunction. The non-killing of cow implies, at the very least, non-killing of all agricultural animals, as the Constitution and the Chhattisgarh law have correctly defined.

The privileging of the rearing of buffaloes over cows and encouragement of the killing of buffaloes for export of meat has distorted not only the composition of the buffalo herd of India, it has distorted the traditional balance between the number of cows and buffaloes.

As seen in Fig. 1, buffaloes constituted about 20 percent of our bovine herd “cows and buffaloes together” in 1951. That ratio increased to about a quarter by 1977 and has sharply risen to a more than third now as a consequence of the official privileging of buffaloes over cows for the only reason that the administrative state of India believes that the former may be killed.

Between 1951 and 2012, the number of cows (including bullocks) in India has increased from 15.5 to about 20 crores (Fig. 2). The number of buffaloes, on the other hand, has multiplied from 4.3 crore to nearly 11 crores. Increase in the buffalo herd has been particularly high since 1992. This is also the period when slaughter of buffaloes has been established as an export-oriented industry through official patronage. Notice that the number of cows has only declined after 1992.

Thus encouraging buffalo-slaughter leads to the destruction of both buffaloes and cows, of the former through slaughter and of the latter through neglect.

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