The state will soon face critical shortage of beef as cattle ready for import for slaughter are blocked at the check-post at Karnataka border owing to recent central government notification that has banned the sale of cows and buffaloes for slaughter through animal markets.
The demand for beef rises during Ramadan as followers break their day-long fasts with communal meals. Shortage of supply will also lead to increase in price of meat giving people a tough time. Muslims may also have to remove meat from their diet or have to shell out a lot more.
Speaking to this daily, secretary of Quresi’s Meat Traders Association Anwar Bepari said, “Our trucks loaded with cattle are blocked at the Ramnagar check-post in Karnataka. However, the reason is yet to be known. We have about 9000 kg of beef ready to supply at Goa meat complex but it will not last for more than two days and soon demand will rise but there will be less or no beef to meet the rising demand.”
He further said that, “We will soon visit the check-post to know the reason behind stopping our trucks from entering the state. Enough cattle are not available for slaughtering in the state so we import cattle from neighboring state. The notification banning import of cattle for slaughtering has hurt traders and beef eaters. We would also ask the government to intervene into the matter to resume the supply.”
Members of Goa meat sellers association are upset over last week’s notification, under which the central government has banned the sale of cows, bulls, bullocks, buffaloes, steers, heifers, calves, and camels in livestock markets for slaughter, which has also been fiercely opposed by several states such as Kerala and West Bengal.
“A kg of beef normally costs between Rs 200 with bone and Rs 250 without bone in the city. The prices might go up if the animals are not made available. I doubt there will be enough beef (for entire Ramadan month). We have stock which will suffice till Sunday,” a beef seller said.
“The price will skyrocket. I can’t predict how much the price will be, but it will keep going up,” a beef shop owner in Panaji market said.
Accordingly, meat consumption is expected to decline further after the short supply of meat drives price up.
A household woman by name Nadia told this daily that the low supply and rising prices would definitely take a toll on Ramadan preparations. While getting ready to reflect on the spiritual significance of the blessed month, families now have to think creatively on how to use their budgets in the best possible way.