Karnataka goes to polls around April-May next year and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has already declared its intentions of wresting power from the Congress. The party lost in 2008 mainly due to corruption charges levelled against then chief minister B S Yeddyurappa. The party could well make illegal slaughterhouses a poll plank.
Data put up by Karnataka's Department of Animal Husbandry for the two financial years — 2016 and 2015 — reveals the number of animals slaughtered in the state.
In FY2016, 39.80 lakh animals were slaughtered, excluding those slaughtered in commercial and backyard poultry. Of the 39.80 lakh animals, young buffalos and young cattle were 73,044, while 3,59,911 animals were adult cattle and adult buffalos.
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Besides, 4.60 lakh pigs (both adult and young) were also slaughtered during the year.
In the context of the BJP implementing its poll promise of enforcing animal slaughter laws in Uttar Pradesh, this data assumes significance. There is a protest over the past few months for allowing an abattoir to come up in Harohalli on the outskirts of Bengaluru.
The Hindu reported that the permission for a modern abattoir in the area was given in 2012 when the BJP was controlling the municipal body, the BBMP, to a private agency, Capri Meat House Private Limited.
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"Let us remember it was approved in 2012 by the BJP. Now, the same party is opposing it. The structure is 75% complete and it is an approved project waiting for administrative nod. It is now taking a political turn," Bengaluru mayor G Padmavathi told the daily.
Total meat production in Karnataka for the year was 1.13 lakh tonnes, excluding commercial and backyard poultry, up 14.5 percent from 98,697 tonnes.
The 2015-16 report has details of livestock population, milk yield, categories of animals, among other things.
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Here is the complete list:
Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services, Karnataka
In 2014-15, meat production excluding commercial poultry was 98,697 tonnes while animals slaughtered, excluding commercial poultry, stood at 42.40 lakh.
Like in many other states, cow slaughter is banned in Karnataka.
India's buffalo meat exports spurt
Buffalo meat exports for 2015-16 stood at Rs 26,682 crore from Rs.3,533 crore in 2007-08, according to a report by Icra.
Meat production rises
In an official statement released on February 16 this year, the government of India said that meat production for 2016-17 (rainy season) rose 8.74 percent to 2.43 million tonnes from 2.24 million tonnes in the corresponding period last year.
"Nearly 47.86 percent of the meat production is contributed by poultry and 20.11 percent is from buffaloes. The first five highest meat producing States are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, & Telangana during the rainy season," the union agricultural ministry said.
BJP cracks the whip in Uttar Pradesh
In Uttar Pradesh, the government led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has launched a crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses during the week, resulting in 12 illegal such houses being sealed, over 40 people arrested and 25 cases of cattle smuggling registered.
Adityanath was sworn-in last Sunday as the 21st chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.