Jaipur: Union Minister Maneka Gandhi today expressed concern about India being the world's largest beef exporter and claimed that the money from illegal animal slaughter is being used for perpetrating acts of terrorism.
"We are the largest beef exporters in the world and also killing them for leather production. We are actually killing more animals than China, it is appalling!" the minister for Women and Child Development said during a valedictory lecture at the India for Animals conference in Jaipur.
Quoting a report submitted to Uttar Pradesh police four years ago, Ms Gandhi, who is also a noted animal rights activist and environmentalist, claimed that the money earned through illegal animal slaughtering was going into terrorism.
"It is going into terrorism, it is going into bomb making. It is going into killing us. Why we are allowing this? It is a trade of Indians. Do not blame a particular community for this," she claimed.
Ms Gandhi also said that while members of one community sell its livestock, another slaughters it in their slaughter houses and asked people not to link animal slaughter to a particular religion or community.
India is illegally exporting beef to Bangladesh and that country claims its exporting about 160,000 tonnes of beef. "But as a matter of fact they (Bangladesh) do not own a single cow," she said.
The minister called on NGOs, volunteers and civil society to join the 'save animals movement' and urged them to set up informer systems to sound an alarm to prevent such trade. "Deer's meat is available at many places in Rajasthan, even in Dhani (hutments)...I get such information while sitting in Delhi. Every animal organ like horn, shelf is
illegally sold. Over 25,000 websites are full of illegal sale of animal organs," she said.
On a report published during the previous UPA government's regime stating that 80 per cent of milk in the country was "adulterated," she lamented, "we are drinking poison".
She asked NGOs and volunteers working for protection of animals to study the forest and wildlife acts properly and try to inform the municipal authorities about any animal cruelty.
Dissection of animals in school and college education has also stopped, she noted, adding that the Medical Council of India is also considering this ban. Cosmetic research and animal experimentation needs to be contained in the growing Indian culture, the Union Minister said.
More than 200 delegates participated in the two-day-long conference organised by the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) and its associates.