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ECONOMICS subject faculty



I, R.S. AAFREEN, hereby declare that this project titled “Impact of Beef Ban

on the India economy” submitted to Tamil Nadu National Law School,

Tiruchirappalli , is the record of an bonafide work done by me under the expert

guidance of the venerated Law of Contracts faculty of Tamil Nadu National

Law School, Tiruchirappalli.

All authentic information furnished in the project is true to the best of my

knowledge and belief.

Signature of Student Signature of supervisor


First of all, I thank my Economics faculty Prof. BALA CHANDRAN for allowing me to
do such a challenging and dynamic topic. Even repaying him through mere words in
beyond the domain of my lexicon that was the backbone during all hurdles that I
confronted during the making of this project, hence I am forever duly indebted to him his

Also, I am grateful to the staff and administration of Tamil Nadu National Law
School who contributed useful resources tremendously in the making of this project by
providing library infrastructure and data connections.

I sincerely thank my parents and friends for their encouragement in carrying out this
project. Last but not the least, I am also grateful to God for giving me the courage and
strength to withstand all hindrances during this project and completing it successfully.

Title Page

Introduction 3

Objectives 5

Methodology 7

Livestock in India 8

Livestock to support Rural Economy

Understanding historical context

(i) Ancient India
(ii) Modern India

Cow ban legislations

The presumption of guilt

Issues with independent testing

Economic impact of beef ban

Impact of beef ban in the State of Maharashtra – A case study

Expensive Gaushala

Economic factors, not beef ban, influence cow population

Conclusion 8

References 10




“One man’s (read woman) meat is another man’s (read woman) poison.”

Cow slaughter and beef consumption have become extremely contentious issues in recent
months, with anti-beef laws becoming stricter in many states across the country. It would
seem that there has never been a worse time in India to be a butcher or someone who
eats beef. The recent arrests of people for allegedly selling beef by the police personnel
and brutal killings of people by the cow vigilante groups have terrorised a large section of
the Society especially the minorities and the Dalits. The right of religion being claimed by a
section of Hindu society to whom the cow is sacred to support the anti-beef laws take
advantage of the Article 48 in the Constitution of India on Organisation of agriculture and
animal husbandry. This Article in the Directive Principle of State policy states that, “the
State shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and
scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds,
and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle”.

Other sections of the Society opine that, if the concern is to protect “milch and draught
cattle”, as provided under Article 48 of the Constitution and the Statements of Object and
Reasons of these statutes then why is the slaughter of buffaloes not also entirely
prohibited? Moreover they argue that, not all sections of Hindu communities consider Cow
as scared animal. In parts of Western India notably Goa, Maharashtra (before the current
ban), South Indian states namely Karnataka and Kerala and entire North-eastern States,
several Hindu communities consume beef.

As the debate continues, this project tries to find out the impacts of cow slaughter and beef
ban legislations on the economy of the country and economic implications on the


Directive Principles of State Policies (DPSPs) were formulated at the time when India was
a third world economy just emerged from the colonial power. Article 48 mentions,
"Prevention of slaughter of milch cattle". This was envisaged to prevent killing of bowels
which were vital to the agrarian economy as an additional source of income through
livestock rearing. It had no religious intent but purely economical. Today the context has
changed and at present India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. India is
the biggest exporter of beef in the world. India's leather industry is an industry with the
turnover of USD 7.5 Billion and the fastest growing (8.22%) industry. This industry
employs 2.5 million people and 30% of the employees are women. Annually, over 2 billion
sq. ft. of leather has been produced in India. Hence the study aims to find out the impact of
beef ban legislation on the Indian economy and economic implications on the


Secondary data will be acquired from variety of databases including online databases for
this study. Primary data will also be collected as far as possible. In addition few experts in
leather and tanning industry would also be interviewed.

4.1. Livestock in India
Livestock is an important natural resource for supporting livelihood in rural areas. India
has the largest number of livestock, representing about 17% of the world population.
Out of the present 450 million heads of livestock, cattle represent 43.11 (194 million)
followed by goats (26.22%), buffaloes (19.78%) and sheep (10.89%). Among these
categories of domestic animals, cattle have been very popular among the farming
community, irrespective of their religion and region. In fact in 1951, cattle represented
about 55% of the total livestock, while the other three categories represented about
15% each. The gradual shift from cattle to goats over the past four decades indicates
the pressure on fodder and pasture resources, forcing farmers to opt for hardier types of
animals. It is generally believed that goats can graze and survive on those pastures,
which are unfit for cattle and buffaloes. While sheep and goats are maintained by
certain sections of the farming communities purely for economic reasons, cows are
maintained by all sections of the society both for economic and sentimental reasons.

4.1.2. Livestock to support Rural Economy

India is predominantly dependent on bullock power for agriculture and rural
transportation. Milk is the major source of protein for both children and adults,
particularly those who are vegetarians. Dung has been the main source of manure for
agricultural production. Today, in spite of the heavy influence of chemical fertilizers,
farmyard manure is in great demand, because of its eco-friendly benefits apart from
other advantages such as easy availability, low cost, better soil moisture retention and
improvement in the quality of the produce. Truly the cattle gives back more to nature as
compared to their intake. They consume agricultural by-products, wastes and provide
us milk, bullock power and dung which can be used for production of food and energy.
Even after their death, cattle hide fetches a good value, while the bone-meal makes
excellent quality organic manure.

4.2. Understanding historical context

“Context, context, context” is important for understanding any social issue.
4.2.1. Ancient India
The taboo towards cattle slaughter did exist for centuries before it, albeit in a nascent
form. Some sources attribute it to a major famine that arose in 3rd century BC. The
farmers in the Gangetic valley began to stop eating their cows, instead using them to
breed more calves with the oxen. However, consumption of beef was not outlawed or
considered a sin and even Brahmins consumed beef.

4.2.2. Medieval India

Forward to 8th century BC, the rapid spread of Buddhism was threatening to wipe out
the Hindu faith. One of the points made by Buddhist monks was the widespread
consumption of meat in general and beef in particular by the Hindu priestly class. The
Adi Shankara began to spread the Advaita movement encouraging the Brahmins to give
up meat. This was also the time the myth emerged of the vegetarian diet being morally
and spiritually superior to the non-vegetarian one. Till this point of time, caste was
determined by profession and not by birth and a hierarchy did not exist. Also the castes
that gave up meat began to claim higher status as compared to their meat eating peers.
Gradually the pyramid form of castes emerged. Buddhism was declared as a 'branch of
Hindu philosophy' only after it ceased to be a threat to Hinduism. The Muslim invasions
in North India and the colonization of the North by various dynasties resulted in upper
caste Hindus shunning beef as a way of distinguishing and isolating the Muslims. Some
Muslim rulers even banned cow slaughter as a way of pacifying the locals.

4.2.3. Modern India

Movements to ban on cow slaughter began in North India in the 19th century as a
reaction to Muslim political dominance. By forgoing beef, the Hindus sought to politically
assert themselves and isolate the Muslims who could be portrayed as 'outsiders' with
'alien' food habits. It is interesting to note that in parts of Western India (notably Kerala,
Goa, Maharashtra (before the current ban) and Karnataka several Hindu communities
consume beef. Here, Islam and Christianity spread through trade and settlement rather
than invasions. Also, the two religions arrived here much before the Northern hinterland
(Islam in 7th Century AD and Christianity in the 1st Century AD). Thus, the concept of
Muslims being 'outsiders' and 'invaders' does not exist in the minds of Hindu majority
population in these States. Beef is widely consumed in the North Eastern states. It is
openly sold in states like Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram. Movements to ban on cow
slaughter began in North India in the 19th century as a reaction to Muslim political
dominance. By forgoing beef, the Hindus sought to politically assert themselves and
isolate the Muslims who could be portrayed as 'outsiders' with 'alien' food habits.

4.3. Cow ban legislations

States where cow slaughter is legal: Kerala, West Bengal, Arunachal, Mizoram,
Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim. In Manipur, Maharaja in 1939 decreed
prosecution for cow slaughter, but beef consumed widely.

States where cow slaughter is banned:

 Andhra Pradesh & Telangana: Slaughter of cows, calves prohibited. Bulls,
bullocks can be killed against “fit-for-slaughter” certificate, issued if animals can
no longer be used for breeding; draught/agricultural operations. Violators face 6
months jail and/or Rs 1,000 fine.

 Assam: Cow slaughter banned

except on issue of ‘fit-for-slaughter’
certificate, at designated places.
 Bihar: Slaughter of cows, calves
banned; of bulls, bullocks older than 15
years allowed. Violators face 6 months’ jail
and/or Rs 1,000 fine.
 Chandigarh: Killing a cow,
storing/serving/eating beef banned; eating
meat of buffalo, bullock and ox also
 Chhattisgarh: Slaughter of cow, buffalo, bull, bullock, calf, and possession of
their meat banned. Transport, export to other states for slaughter also banned;
attracts same punishment of 7 years’ jail, fine up to Rs 50,000.
 Delhi: Slaughter of “agricultural cattle” — cow, calf, bull, bullock — and
“possession of [their] flesh”, even if they are killed outside Delhi, banned.
Buffaloes are not covered.
 Gujarat: Slaughter of cow, calf, bull and bullock; transport, sale of their meat
banned. Punishment: Rs 50,000 fine, up to 7 years’ jail. Ban does not include
 Haryana: As per a 2015 law, “cow”, which includes bull, bullock, ox, heifer, calf,
and disabled/diseased/barren cows, can’t be killed. Punishment: 3-10 years jail,
fine up to Rs 1 lakh. Sale of canned beef and beef products, and export of cows
for slaughter banned.
 Himachal Pradesh: Slaughter of all bovines punishable by 5 years’ jail. Killing
allowed in the interest of research, or if animal has contagious disease.
 Jammu & Kashmir: Slaughter of cow and its progeny punishable by up to 10
years’ jail. Possession of “flesh of any [of these] slaughtered animal(s)”
punishable by a year; killing of “he or she buffalo” punishable with fine five times
the animal’s price.
 Jharkhand: Slaughter of cows and oxen; possession, consumption of their meat,
banned. Violators face up to 10 years’ jail and/or Rs 10,000 fine.
 Karnataka: Cows can be slaughtered if old or diseased. Possession not a crime.
Bill proposed by BJP in 2010 made slaughter punishable by 7 years’ jail and Rs 1
lakh fine, but it did not become law.
 Madhya Pradesh: Slaughter of cow, progeny banned. Penalty raised to 7 years’
jail in 2012, burden of proof on accused. Buffaloes can be killed.
 Maharashtra: Slaughter, consumption of meat of cow, bull, bullock banned since
March 2015 after revision of existing law. 5 years’ jail and/or Rs 10,000 fine.
Slaughter of buffaloes allowed.
 Odisha: 2 years’ jail, Rs 1,000 fine for cow slaughter. Old bulls, bullocks can be
killed on fit-for-slaughter certificate; cow if it suffers from contagious disease.
 Punjab: “Beef” doesn’t include imported beef and hence canned beef can be
imported from other states and consumed. “cow” includes bulls, bullocks, oxen,
heifer, calves. Slaughter allowed for export, with government permit.
 Rajasthan: Slaughter of “cow, calf, heifer, bull or bullock” prohibited; possession,
transport of their flesh prohibited. 10 years’ imprisonment and/or Rs 10,000 fine.
 Tamil Nadu: Cow, calf slaughter banned; up to 3 years’ jail and/or Rs 1,000 fine.
Beef consumption and slaughter of economically worthless animals allowed. But
the legislation is rarely enforced. It is common to see meat to slaughtered cows
being sold in beef stalls that open on Sundays.
 Uttar Pradesh: Slaughter of cow, bullock and ox banned. Can’t store or eat beef.
7 years’ jail and/or Rs 10,000 fine. Can import in sealed containers, to be served
to foreigners. Buffaloes can be killed.
Jail terms 10 yrs for cow slaughter in Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand and
Rajasthan. Moreover Hefty fine of 1 lakh in Haryana and Rs 50,000 fine in Chhattisgarh
and Gujarat. Several of these legislations, particularly the Delhi Agricultural Cattle
Preservation Act 1994, prohibit the slaughter of all “agricultural cattle”, defined as including
“cows and calves of all ages, bulls, and bullocks”.

The law ignores that beyond a certain age, cattle may no longer be useful for agricultural
or other purposes, as is reflected in exceptions of other state laws. Many states, such as
Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Karnataka, Odisha, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West
Bengal allow cow slaughter on obtaining a ‘fit for slaughter’ certificate. These certificates
are issued based on factors such as if the animal is suffering from permanent
incapacitation, injury or incurable disease, if it is over 14 or 15 years of age, or has a
contagious illness and is thus a risk to the environment. On the other hand, Delhi,
Haryana, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh are unconcerned with
these exceptions, and appear to be fixated on protecting cows under any circumstance.

4.3.2. The presumption of guilt

A common feature of these laws is placing on the accused the burden of proving that the
slaughter, transport, sale, purchase or possession of cattle flesh did not violate the statute.
Simply put, anti-beef laws reverse the presumption of innocence of the accused to a
presumption of their guilt, a departure that is only rarely made in the legal systems of
civilised nations. Indeed, the Supreme Court of India has held that the “presumption of
innocence is a human right”, going so far as to say that Article 21 of the Constitution not
only protects life and liberty but also envisages a fair procedure. The presumption of
innocence is done away with only in instances where the laws concerning terrorism,
waging war against the state, offences against members of the SC/ST community, rape,
abetment of dowry death and cruelty to animals are enforced. Crucially, these laws
articulate the exact circumstances under which the presumption of guilt would operate.

4.3.3. Issues with independent testing

The anti-beef laws in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra provide that “pending trial,
seized agricultural cattle shall be handed over only to the nearest Gosadan, Ghoshala,
Pinjrapole, Hinsa Nivaran Sangh and such other Animal Welfare Organizations”. This also
includes the storing of meat samples. Although such bodies have been set up in these
states, many issues exist. First, some of these organisations are, by virtue of their stated
aims and ethos, not the most trustworthy places to store the samples of meat or live cattle
that have been seized. This is more apparent when they are run by NGOs that might have
an ideological opposition to beef consumption, as in the case of the Manav Gosadan in
Delhi, which is run by Jain Samaaj Delhi. Also, the indirect administration by NGOs is
particularly problematic given the various criminal offences and procedures that these laws
provide for, making the animals or meat samples being handled by these organisations
extremely sensitive for evidentiary purposes.
The second problem with such organisations is that many Gosadans have in the past been
reported to be in deplorable conditions. For instance, a 2001 report published by the
Planning Department (Evaluation Unit) of the Government of Delhi acted as a scathing
indictment of the poor working conditions of seven Gosadans in the capital, finding five of
them “inexperienced in the field of Animal Welfare activities”, among several other issues
relating to hygiene and facilities. The report also notes that “the NGOs of the Gosadans
are not maintaining any record so it is difficult to ascertain the admission date of a
particular cattle in the Gosadans. In the absence of this fact, it is not possible to ascertain
the stay period of particular cattle in the Gosadans”. Thus, cattle or meat samples stored in
such Gosadans cannot reliably be used as evidence at the trial of the accused.

The third issue relates to the independent testing of meat samples. Indian cow slaughter
laws do not follow procedures similar to the Air, Water and Food Safety and Standards
Acts in matters of sample collection. In contrast to the elaborate measures outlined in
those Acts, by excluding a detailed procedure to collect evidence to ensure no tampering
or reduction in quality occurs, the cow slaughter laws fail to recognise the sanctity of the
processes of criminal investigation and trial, where the admissibility of evidence is of
utmost importance. Some state laws, such as those in Punjab and Madhya Pradesh, do
not even provide for any procedure relating to the handling of the samples/animals before
the trial commences.

4.3.4. Why so serious?

Given this absence of due process, one wonders why so many of their other provisions
entail such an urgency and seriousness about the issue of cattle slaughter. Under the
Delhi and Maharashtra Acts, the mere possession of cattle flesh is an offence, regardless
of knowledge on the part of the accused person as to provisions of the Acts being
contravened. The new Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Act 2015
also ban the sale of canned beef.

Further, the powers of search and seizure have been accorded not only to police officers
above the rank of sub-inspector, but also to veterinary officers and even the director of the
Department of Animal Husbandry. Deeming them as public servants and providing
protection for actions taken by them in good faith only allows miscreant officers to act with
impunity in what has emerged to be a communally sensitive issue. It is also important to
note the pedestal of criminal offences at which cow slaughter and beef consumption are
placed; according to the Indian state, these acts command the same level of moral
condemnation as rape and terrorism, perhaps even more.

The quantum of punishment outlined by the state laws for these offences is comparable to
punishments for far more serious issues. For instance, in Haryana and Jammu & Kashmir,
the maximum punishment is ten years imprisonment – the same for offences related to
waging war against the State, counterfeiting the Indian coin, slave trading, culpable
homicide not amounting to murder and unnatural offences. In addition, these laws often
include provisions for a mandatory minimum sentencing (six months in the Delhi and
Madhya Pradesh, one year in Rajasthan), which is usually associated with moral vices.
Almost all these Acts also make these offences non-bailable.

4.4. Economic impact of beef ban

India ranks 5th in the world in beef
production, 7th in domestic consumption
and 1st in exporting. India produced 3.7
million metric tons of beef in 2012, of which
2 million metric tons was consumed
domestically and 1.7 million metric tons was
exported mostly to countries such as
Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippians, Saudi
Arabia, Kuwait and Egypt. The beef traders
have been impacted but it will be the farmers
who will be affected the most. Who will care
for the old and infirm animals that were
earlier sold for meat? India's meat exports
fell 13 per cent in the April-December period
and rival beef supplier Brazil is gaining from
India's loss. It has also left millions of
farmers, already reeling from bad harvests
due to back-to-back droughts and
unseasonal rains, struggling to sell animals
they can no longer feed or water.

Leather Industry: Leather industry will be

hurt since banning of slaughter lead to
drastic fall of raw material supply, thus
impacting the flayers, contractors, traders,
truck drivers, distributors and retailers.

Unemployment and Poverty: The leather industry alone employs close to 2.5 million
people, mostly Dalits. Down-slide in leather industry might aggravate unemployment.
Majority of the flayers are in dire need of employment who lacks alternative employment
opportunities, thus leading to poverty, malnutrition, adversely impacting socio-economic
conditions of people.

Slump in Export: As the largest exporter of beef in the world, India earns about $ 4.3
billion a year. So effectively the country will be losing $4.3 Billion in foreign reserves. India
produced 3.643 million metric tons of beef in 2012, of which 1.963 million metric tons was
consumed domestically and 1.680 million metric tons was exported. The Director General
of Foreign Trade routinely publishes data on the number of livestock that are slaughtered
in India. This data suggests that up to 10 per cent of the country’s cattle and 14 per cent of
buffalo population is slaughtered each year, amounting to about 34 million bovines – 20
million heads of cattle and 14 million buffalos – yielding 2.1 million tonnes of cattle meat
and 1.9 million tonnes of buffalo meat. The exported worth of bovine meat alone in 2013
was $4.5 billion. Between April-November 2014, the sale of bovine meat and meat
products was worth $3.3 billion compared to $2.8 billion in the same period the previous
year, registering a 16.7 per cent increase. Virtually all Indian beef exports are labelled
‘buffalo meat’ since the export of cow meat is banned in India. It is useful to understand
the above amounts in the context of India’s annual trade deficit. For April 2014-March
2015, the deficit was estimated at $137 billion, which was higher than the deficit of $134
billion the previous financial year.

Aggravate the agrarian distress: Farmers will be forced to maintain the cows by ban on
slaughtering, thus increasing the maintenance burden on them. Financial distress of
farmers will be increased by these legislations. A blanket ban on cattle slaughter will force
farmers to pay for the upkeep of unproductive livestock. There are already 53 lakh stray
cattle, abandoned by their owners. The average value of a healthy live animal is anywhere
between Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 100,000 and the loss of this income consequent to the
proposed ban can reduce the landless, and the small and marginal farmers, to penury. A
complete ban on the slaughter of cattle is bound to cause overpopulation of these
animals, causing hardship for farmers who cannot afford their upkeep, putting pressure on
grasslands, leading to degradation of local farm lands, and altering the local environment.
Further, there are international concerns, since cattle overpopulation contributes to higher
methane production due to the unique bovine bodily constitution and digestive process. As
they age, the accumulating cattle population will pose a health hazard too. If not properly
disposed of, the deceased animals can cause disease and contribute to higher human
morbidity and mortality. For India’s small and marginal farmers, the burden of either
burying or cremating 20 to 30 million animals per year will be an expensive proposition.

Dietary imbalance among the Poor: Beef is the third most consumed meat in the world,
only behind pork and poultry. The National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO)
estimated in 2011-12 that 5.2 crore people in the country eat beef/buffalo meat. Earlier, the
National Commission on Cattle, set up by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government in 2002 to
promote a ban on cow slaughter, also admitted in a report that “extreme poverty and
customary practices in the coastal areas and among some sections of scheduled tribes,
scheduled castes and other backward castes also make them beef eaters. There is clearly
a class and caste dimension to beef/buffalo eating. Imposition of beef ban directly affects
the nutrition of the poor.

Dietary imbalance among the poor, who specially depend on beef, which is affordable
compared to other nutritional source. It is very cheap and is a high quality source of
protein, iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and various other nutrients. Banning beef severely affects
those who consider it as their primary non vegetarian food, considering the fact that beef is
very popular in the South Indian states such as Kerala (where 80 percentage of the
population eat beef). It would only aid in increasing hunger and malnutrition. The
immediate effect will be the spiralling price of other meats as people will be forced to
gravitate to them. Beef, generally seen as the poor man’s meat, costs almost a third of
Impact on Hotel Industry: The big impact, say experts, of the ban on bovine meat will be
on local hotels and restaurants. The hotels, restaurants and catering segment remain one
of the largest consumers of beef in the country. The food processing industry, mainly the
cold cuts and frozen food makers, on the other hand, count on chicken, pork and lamb
rather than beef. Beef is the preferred item for almost all foreigners.

Pharmaceutical industry: Besides, several organisations fear the ban will adversely
impact the export of medicines produced from bullock beef and organs.

Impact on Make in India Program: A ‘focus sector’ in the Make in India programme,
the leather sector is expected to touch $27 billion in the next five years from the current
$12 billion. Some Chinese cities that were traditionally in the leather industry are now
moving towards electronics. Those orders are now moving to India. The challenge is
India’s production capacity and quality. Tamil Nadu alone accounts for 40-45 per cent of
exports. The sector has recorded a compound annual growth rate of 14.77 per cent in the
past five years. The target is to increase the value of export to $15 billion and the domestic
market turnover to $12 billion. Exports of leather and leather products during the first eight
months of FY15 touched $4.45 billion against $3.8 billion during April-November 2013, an
increase of 17 per cent.

Decrease the Annual GDP: In the absence of a comprehensive nutrition survey, NSSO
data can be explored to understand the changing food habits and levels of nutrition in
India. At the national level, for example, daily protein consumption dipped from 60.2g per
capita in 1993-94 to 56.5g in 2011-12 in rural areas and from 57.2g to 55.7g in urban
areas. As is expected, future income growth in India will surely push up demand for high
value added food items, especially meat, milk and other dairy products. Demography is
also a factor: the number of Indians consuming meat is increasing each year while the
country’s livestock population appears to have stabilized at about 300 million, as per the
19th Live Stock Census of 2012. An all India ban has the potential to pull down
India’s annual GDP growth rate by about 2 per cent.

4.5. Impact of beef ban in the State of Maharashtra – A case study

The state, which slaughtered 316,757 such cattle in 2013-14 and 212,139 bulls and
bullocks in the current financial year up to December, banned such slaughtering from
March 4. Thus, 33 operational abattoirs came to a halt. Apart from that, illegal slaughtering
houses are estimated to have been killing 3,000 animals a day. Abattoirs that had received
animals after the ban order have returned these. Deonar alone returned around 300
animals on March 5, on transit when the government announced the ban. While
announcing the decision, the state government estimated slaughtering of an average of
4,000 such cattle every day. “With an average weight of 300 kg and a retail price of Rs 120
a kg, the raw beef economy works out to Rs 5,500 crore. Including the Rs 4,500 crore
businesses of sales of processed of beef in hotels, transportation charges, entry fees,
management of solid and liquid wastes, leather articles and so on, the
overall beef economy is estimated at Rs 10,000 crore in Maharashtra. Farmer suicides
have nearly doubled in the drought-hit Marathwada region of Maharashtra. Many farmers
are simply abandoning their cattle. The state has opened hundreds of temporary shelters
to house around 2,50,000 heads of cattle until their owners are ready to take them back,
but experts say at least another 4 million animals need to be looked after in Maharashtra.

The Maharashtra government’s decision of banning beef even affects the leather sector in
Tamil Nadu, which sources 40 per cent of bull hides produced in Maharashtra.
The ban will increase the price of leather products and bring down production, as the
domestic market won’t be able to meet the demand and importing won’t be viable. Not only
has the cost of sourcing gone up nearly five per cent, if Maharashtra is not going to supply,
the production will also come down. The companies in Tamil Nadu were currently paying
around Rs 800 per hide. After Kolkata and Punjab, the best hides come from Maharashtra.
Tamil Nadu’s leather industry used to source hides from Aurangabad, Kalyan (near
Mumbai), and other places. The development comes at a time the industry is reviving.
Now things are looking good and we will close the fiscal with 15 per cent growth.
Maharashtra used to supply nearly 2 million leather sheets a year. The ban will increase
the price of leather products since the traders and brokers have to transport their animals
to states where slaughtering is allowed which will raise transportation cost.

4.6. Expensive Gaushala

With the increase in abandoned cattle, more and more Gaushalas would pop-up. Even
before the ban, it was expected that India has to spend nearly 31,000 Crores annually just
to take care of the cattle that would otherwise had been smuggled to Bangladesh. Now
with more abandoned cattle the number would easily double. To keep the number in
perspective the figure is four times higher than the allocation made by the government for
nutrition of children under Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS). In short the well
being of a cow is more important that the well being of a child. Thousands are losing their
livelihood, lakhs their source of proper nutrition all while Spending more than 31,000
Crores every year towards Gaushalas and loosing $4.3 Billion in foreign reserves due to
the ban.

4.6.2. Economic factors, not beef ban, influence cow population

A ban on slaughter doesn’t automatically lead to a flourishing cow population, analysis of
government data found. A ban on slaughter doesn’t automatically lead to a flourishing cow
population, an HT analysis of government data has found, with states like Madhya
Pradesh — where cow killing is outlawed — reporting a more than 40% decline in their
numbers in rural areas over a decade. Between 2003 and 2013, at least nine states
registered a significant decline in the ownership of cows by the rural households,
according to the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO). The growth or decline of cow
population in a state is an outcome of several economic and environmental factors and
cannot be simply equated with slaughter laws or beef consumption.

The fact that cattle populations ownership have increased in rural areas in several states
that allow slaughter (male or female) is evidence enough that slaughter does not
compromise or destroy cattle populations but in fact is a positive impact. “Slaughter of
cattle is mostly of the male. It’s only the old, diseased, unproductive females that may end
up being slaughtered,” - Sagari Ramdas, a veterinarian with the Food Sovereignty
Alliance, who works on preservation of indigenous breeds of cattle. “Growth of cattle
depends on several factors such as the availability of grazing lands, including the forest
cover, feed and fodder, water, labour and healthcare. It also depends on the purpose of
rearing the animals which could be rearing cows for milk, rearing male cattle for field work
or selling them for slaughter. Declining utility of male cattle due to mechanisation of
agriculture, coupled with the ban on their slaughter may be pushing farmers to rear less
cows, she added.

Cow slaughter has now become a political issue and many state governments have
imposed a ban on cow slaughter without finding alternate solutions to manage these
low productive cattle. This project found out that the economy of the Maharashtra where
the total ban is imposed has been severely affected. Maharashtra economy have taken a
hit of 10,000 crore INR ($1495 million). Hence a total national ban on beef will severely
affects the economy. An all India ban has the potential to pull down India’s annual GDP
growth rate by about 2 per cent. Maharashtra might afford the economic loss of ban on
beef since it is the India’s richest state but definitely not other states afford the economic
loss due to the ban of meat. The ban also adversely affects the livelihood of the rural
communities especially the most disadvantaged communities.

It is interesting to note that In contrast, the legal position on cow slaughter in Kerala offers
what appears to be the fairest setup at present – there is no state legislation concerning
the slaughter of cattle. However, no ‘fit for slaughter’ certificates are granted unless the
animal is over 10 years of age, and is unfit or permanently incapacitated for work or
breeding due to injury or deformity. No doubt our cattle wealth must be saved but
introducing a legal ban to save cow would mean treating the symptoms and not the
disease. Unfortunately, no serious efforts are being made to conduct in-depth studies to
identify the root-causes of this issue and find a suitable solution.



 What the Bombay High Court verdict on beef ban means- Indian express, Mumbai

| Updated: May 7, 2016

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