Uttar Pradesh accounts for 34% of the total buffalo meat export from India, which was to the tune of Rs 21,300 crore last year. The share of Uttar Pradesh came to a whopping Rs 7,273 crore. The nation exports 43% of buffalo meat that's consumed across the world.
Now, as illegal slaughterhouses in Allahabad and Varanasi were sealed within days of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's oath ceremony, the meat exporters of Uttar Pradesh are feeling the heat.
"The buyers are jittery and the orders have fallen by 40 to 45% since the new government started its drive against slaughterhouses," said Fauzan Alavi, the director of Allanasons, one of the country's largest meat exporters.
At an integrated slaughterhouse near Meerut, the management said the new government, which has Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas (development for all) as its motto, should think of everyone's welfare. The unit employs over 1,100 people, who are among the thousands who stand to lose their jobs if all slaughterhouses were closed.
Talking of why there are illegal slaughterhouses, veterinary officer Dr Sanjay Chaturvedi from Meerut said a buffalo meat export factory requires a lot of investment. It takes a lot of money to get the necessary licenses -- around Rs 13 lakh a year. It takes long to get all the clearances too.
A number of exporters now fear hindrances when they need to renew their licences.
Asked if there has ever been a case of slaughter of cows and bullocks, which is banned in Uttar Pradesh, Mr Chaturvedi, whose area has three slaughterhouses, said: "There has never been a complaint of cow slaughter in any of these integrated slaughter houses of Meerut. There are CCTV cameras everywhere, so there is no scope of error."