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Meat complex goes out of business with no animals

No animal slaughter taking place for over a month

19th November 2017, 03:50 Hrs

 

GERARD DE SOUZA
PANAJI
The Goa Meat Complex modernised at a cost of Rs 13 crore in May last year has been lying idle for more than a month after traders stopped bringing live animals to Goa for slaughter unwilling to risk the ire of gau rakshaks and other NGOs who are known to barge into the meat complex and threaten staff and traders.
While the official reason given is that the traders are not being issued certificates -- fitness certificates and an antemortem certificate -- by the Karnataka Animal Husbandry Department, the situation is exacerbated by the fact that traders find it convenient and cheaper to ship in meat slaughtered in neighbouring Karnataka and sell it in Goa.
"It is true that there is no slaughter taking place at the Goa Meat Complex over the last few weeks. They (traders) are not getting a certificate needed to transport the animals. From our side, there is no obstacle against the slaughter. It is the responsibility of traders to get animals for slaughter. Nonetheless, we are working with the traders to ensure that they can resolve the issue and transport animals to Goa," Satyavijay Naik the Chairman of the Goa Meat Complex told The Goan.
However, reliable sources have informed The Goan that while the nigh impossibility in obtaining the certificate is one of the valid reasons, repeated ‘storming' of the complex by various NGOs and motley groups of discontent and zealots who then accuse butchers as well as department staff of butchering underage animals, despite the animals being certified by a competent veterinary doctor has added to the ‘risk' factor being faced by the traders.
Rather than be a hindrance, the stopping has come as a blessing in disguise for meat traders, who would, in any case, prefer to bring in meat directly from Karnataka given that it is cheaper, and explains why they have not been complaining against the events.
Shipping an animal is an expensive business and a trader would rather not bring in animals than bring in an animal only to have him rejected.
However, the Goa Meat Complex offers the consumer quality control and an assurance of being fed healthy meat, something that meat brought in from Karnataka cannot guarantee.
Consumers now fear that, while supply from Karnataka is uninterrupted, there could be a crackdown against the supply on the pretext that the meat is being brought in is unhygienic or not of the required quality, bringing meat supply into the state to a standstill.
When contacted, leader of the meat traders, Manna Bepari told The Goan that it was the lack of certificates which was required in order to be able to transport an animal that was preventing them from bringing live animals to the state of the art slaughterhouse.
"There is no date by which we can guarantee we will resume bringing live animals to the slaughterhouse. We are trying to work out the modalities for securing the certificates at the earliest," Bepari told The Goan.
For now, the Rs 13-crore meat complex with all its equipment is lying idle and the staff are being paid for doing nothing.

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