Karnataka beef ban: Goa CM admits to red-meat crisis

Karnataka beef ban: Goa CM admits to red-meat crisis, says efforts on to import from other states

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. Credit: Facebook/DrPramodPSawant

Availability of beef has become an issue in Goa because of Karnataka's new and stringent anti-cattle slaughter law, but efforts are being made to source live cattle and slaughtered beef to Goa from other states, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Monday.

Sawant, who heads the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government in the state, also said that he is committed to ensuring that the 30 per cent minority population in Goa are not deprived of beef, in the midst of the crisis which has been precipitated by the recent passing of the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill (2020) in the neighbouring state, which is the prime supplier of red meat in Goa.

"At present, there is an issue because Karnataka has suddenly banned beef. Karnataka was a major source for sourcing live animals and (slaughtered) beef, along with Maharashtra. I have given directions to the state Director of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services. He is sourcing for live animals and beef meat from other states," Sawant said.

Beef is a routinely consumed red meat in Goa and is served in restaurants in the coastal fringes of the state, which are frequented by nearly eight million tourists every year.
More than 25 tons of beef is consumed in Goa every day, most of which has been imported from Karnataka's Belagavi district. The state's only legal facility for animal slaughter, the Goa Meat Complex has been virtually non-functional for several months.

The non-availability of beef, especially ahead of Christmas and the festive season when demand for the red meat peaks, has created anxiety among Goa's Christians who account for around 26 per cent of the state's population. Along with Muslims, the minority communities account for more than 30 per cent of Goa's population.

Sawant also said, that while he worships the cow as 'gau mata', as Chief Minister it was his duty to look after the welfare of minority communities for whom beef is a staple diet. "I also worship gau mata. I offer puja to gau-mata. But we have 30 per cent minority persons in our state. It is my duty to look after them too," the Chief Minister said.