Uttar Pradesh Animal Husbandry Minister SP Singh Baghel has said that the state government will soon bring out a clear policy about the animal slaughter in the state. The concerned departments have already been asked for their feedback and work is in progress to form this policy at the earliest.
Baghel was talking to India Today regarding the panic in the Muslim community over animal slaughter and the sale of buffalo meat in the state. The minister said that Muslims should not be concerned with the ban on illegal abattoirs as the government is only following the rules that are already in place. As soon as the butchers obtain the necessary licenses from the concerned departments, it will be allowed to operate without any issues.
He said that the government is making necessary corrections in the system to ensure that the licenses are made available sooner and easily, although licenses will not be given for butcheries or meat shops near public and religious places. He said that the entire focus of the Yogi Adityanath-led government is on the illegal meat business, which will not be allowed to operate at any cost.
NO ACTION AGAINST THOSE FOLLOWING RULES
Mentioning the Supreme Court guidelines, Baghel said that the apex court has made it clear that even in the five-star hotels, a non-vegetarian dish will not be allowed to be served on the next day as it becomes inedible.
For meat sellers, he said, it was the norm to install a glass front and keep the meet in a freezer so that it can be preserved for longer at the correct temperature and away from flies and other parasites. At present, there were hardly any meat sellers who were following this norm and the government was only taking action against these meat sellers. Those adhering to the norms need not worry at all.
Baghel said that the buffalo meat export houses running in Aligarh are equipped with modern equipment and they will not be closed down. Other butcheries that are running in contravention to the rules, will be shut down soon.
He claimed that he himself was assaulted by the foul smell and animal remains from illegal animal slaughter, on his way from Agra to Aligarh several times and this needed to stop immediately.
In connection to the meat ban, the Bhartiya Muslim Vikas Parishad held a meeting with the Agra District Magistrate Gaurav Dayal and presented him with a memorandum addressed to the UP Governor, requesting relaxation in the norms till the butcheries are able to bring themselves up to the specs.
Talking to India Today, Parishad Chairman Sami Aghai said that according to the agriculture department figures, there are 75 mechanised butcheries in UP, out of which only 38 are running as per rules and out of these, 32 are owned by non-Muslims and 75 per cent of the workers in these butcheries are Hindu Dalits who are now facing a crisis on their livelihood.
UP Muslim Action Committee president Syed Irfan Salim said that no animal reproduces for more than 2-3 times, after which its usefulness gets sharply reduced. India earns about Rs 27,000 crores from meat exports of which Rs 15,000 crores are earned by UP alone.
In meat exports, India ranks third globally. He said that the leather industry is fed with raw material by the meat industry and this industry employs 20 lakh workers. Over 11,000 leather units are functioning in the Agra and Kanpur zones alone and they provide gainful employment to almost 10 lakh workers, earning Rs 5,322 crores.
Salim claimed that this issue is not just connected to meat, but it is also connected to the ancillary industries that are sustained by the meat industry and employ people from all religion, whereas the meat industry is being seen as a Muslim-only industry, which is not true.
Parishad Chairman Aghai also claimed that cow-slaughter issue is purely political. If the BJP is so bent on ending cow-slaughter in the country, why is it permitted in Goa and Manipur where the BJP has formed governments? He said that the action that is being conducted in UP in the name of cow slaughter has caused the shutdown of over 5000 meat shops and over 50 thousand crores worth of business has been affected so far due to this meat ban. He added that if the Yogi government did not pay attention to this critical issue soon, it could create major headaches for the chief minister in the later days.