Panaji: The Goa government is in the process of sourcing beef from other parts of the country to overcome the crisis which has arisen after the Karnataka government passed a stringent law against cattle-slaughter. Goa sources most of its beef, both live cattle and slaughtered, from Karnataka.
“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 director of the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services. He is (currently) sourcing live animals and beef meat from other states,” Sawant told the media on Saturday.
Beef is a routinely consumed commodity 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 tonnes of beef is consumed in Goa every day, most of which are imported from Karnataka’s Belgavi district. The state’s only legal facility for animal slaughter, the Goa Meat Complex, has been virtually non functional for the last several months.
With the passage of the Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2020 in Karnataka last week, there is an apprehension in Goa that the supply of beef to the coastal state would dry up and the prices of the red meat would also shoot up.
Sawant said that while he himself worships ‘gau mata’, as the Chief Minister it is his duty to look after the interests of the 30 per cent minority population in the state who consume beef.
“I also worship gau mata. I offer puja to gau mata. But we have 30 per cent minority population in our state. It is my duty to look after them too,” Sawant said.