Uncertainty looms over livestock sector

Centre’s curbs will have its socio-economic impact on a State like Kerala, say experts

Updated - May 27, 2017 11:34 pm IST

Published - May 27, 2017 10:45 pm IST - KALPETTA

A scene from one of the main cattle market at Kozhalmannam in Palakkad on Saturday. . Photo: K. K. Mustafah.

A scene from one of the main cattle market at Kozhalmannam in Palakkad on Saturday. . Photo: K. K. Mustafah.

The new curbs on cattle slaughter would cast a shadow over thousands of families dependent on the livestock sector.

The decision will have socio-economic implications in the State, say experts.

The State ranks first in beef consumption. More than 90% of the cattle for beef consumption are being procured from cattle fairs in neighbouring States such as Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh.

As buffalo population is comparatively less in Kerala, many entrepreneurs procure buffalo calves from these States. They are reared up to six months as a value-added programme and sold for slaughter in the State, says T.P. Sethumadhavan, Director of Entrepreneurship, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU). The new norms on cattle slaughter will adversely affect thousands of such entrepreneurs, Dr. Sethumadhavan said.

Commercial beef production is gradually gaining momentum in the State and the sector provides job opportunities to nearly 6,000 people directly and 40,000 indirectly in value-addition and marketing of meat and meat products, he added.

“India is exporting 19% of the total beef products to the Middle East, Europe, and other Asian countries. The curbs on cattle slaughter will not only affect livestock farmers but also employment opportunities in the meat and leather industry in the country,” says. B. Sunil, Professor and Head, Meat Technology Centre, KVASU, said.

Slaughterhouses

Moreover, local bodies are in the process of modernising the existing slaughterhouses, Dr. Sunil said.

“Also, studies reveal that animal protein is the cheapest way through which protein malnutrition can be corrected easily. There is a marginal increase of 2% in consumption of animal protein sources across rural and urban areas in the country,” he added.

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