ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Policy on Beef and Pork

Last month’s beef festival in Osmania University has opened up a new a venue for a national level policy in the livestock sector, in particular, as it relates to the demand and supply of beef, and related economics. While most of the focus of the reaction to the beef festival has been in terms of social and political issues surrounding cows, the economics of beef has been ignored in the discussion in the EPW editorial (“Beef Festival at Osmania”, 28 April 2012) and related Letters to the Editor (12 May 2012).

At least 25% of India’s population, comprising dalits, Muslims, Christians and few others among Hindus, either already eat or are willing to include beef and related products in their diet. In juxtaposition with this, one need to take cognisance of the growing crossborder trade of cattle, in particular, to Bangladesh, although no offi cial statistics exists on this trade. Those who do not eat beef obviously do not mind selling their cattle to beefeaters. In at least two states, namely, West Bengal and Kerala, one sees beef on the menus of restaurants, and thus beef-eating is neither banned nor socially boycotted.

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