Indian Buffalo Meat Facts IV                                                                

As parts of its efforts at handholding of the buffalo slaughterhouses, APEDA has issued a “Red Meat Manual”. It gives detailed instructions on the process of slaughter, including how and for how long the animal must be bled and how the carcasse should be cut.


A surprising part of the instructions is the injunction that all animals must be ‘slaughtered by HALAL method in the presence of Holyman assigned by All India Jamait Ulema-e-Hind as per Islamic Shariyat, for certification’.


APEDA, an arm of the Government of India, partners with one particular Deobandi Islamic organization to ensure that all slaughter in APEDA-approved slaughterhouses is carried out in a particular Islamic manner.


This insistence on Halal is odd. Because, Islamic countries are not the only, or even the larger, buyers of Indian Buffalo Meat. Of 13 lakh tons of deboned meat exported from India in 2015-16, more than 6 lakh tons went to Vietnam, which has no Muslims at all in its population of about 9 crore. Among the top 10 importers of Indian Buffalo Meat, there are also Thailand and Philippines, which have only 5 to 6 percent Muslims in their population.


APEDA’s insistence that ALL slaughter in India must be carried out in a HALAL manner in the presence of a Holyman from a Deobandi organization is thus not at the insistence of the buyers but enforced as an internal discipline. What could be the purpose of such an injunction? 


APEDA regularly emphasizes that one of the many positive characteristics of Indian Buffalo Meat that “The animals are slaughtered strictly according to Halal method; hence the meat is genuinely Halal.” 


The insistence and posture of APEDA in favour of Halal unnecessarily stigmatizes the Muslims as the only butchers and buyers of buffalo meat in the world. This in the face of the fact that the larger part of Indian Buffalo meat is bought by non-Islamic nations.


Note: 13 lakh tons of deboned meat is equivalent to around 20 lakh tons of Carcass Weight and the slaughter of around 1.5 crore animals.


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