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UP Minister Indicates Drive Against 'Illegal Slaughterhouses' to Intensify

At a moment when Uttar Pradesh’s meat industry is in the middle of possibly its biggest crisis, the state’s animal husbandry minister has indicated that the drive against illegal slaughterhouses will intensify further.

Zeba Warsi | CNN-News18

Updated:March 28, 2017, 6:47 PM IST
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UP Minister Indicates Drive Against 'Illegal Slaughterhouses' to Intensify
UP cabinet minister for Animal Husbandry SP Singh Baghel outside his office which was locked when he arrived at the State Secretariat in Lucknow on Thursday. (PTI Photo by Nand Kumar)
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At a moment when Uttar Pradesh’s meat industry is in the middle of possibly its biggest crisis, the state’s animal husbandry minister has indicated that the drive against illegal slaughterhouses will intensify further.

SP Singh Baghel, the state animal husbandry minister, told News 18 that people working with illegal abattoirs were abetting crime, and may be booked for "criminal conspiracy".

He also indicated that the drive against illegal abattoirs would be escalated to big export houses and against licensed abattoirs that aren’t following norms.

Many who have protested government’s crackdown have pointed at the mounting loss of jobs that are connected with UP’s meat industry.

An estimated, 25 lakh people in the state are believed to be associated directly or indirectly with this sector, which accounts for nearly 50 per cent of India’s total meat exports.

On the question of job losses Bagel said, “These people need to understand that even by working in illegal slaughterhouses they are part of the crime and are subject to criminal conspiracy. Tomorrow if we carry a drive against the illegal gun mafia, people associated with them also will start demanding jobs.”

When asked whether government will escalate its drive against the big export houses, he said “Exports is the subject of the centre. But it is said that when in Rome, do as the Romans do. This is Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's government.”

The recently elected UP government has so far carried its drive against small meat producing establishments and meat vendors, which has affected local supply.

Justifying government’s action, which has led to huge protests by the state meat processing industry, Bagel added that that the drive would not end with shutting down establishments that were operating without licenses. The government will also act against non-complying licensed establishments as well.

“The key word is ‘illegal’. The crackdown is justified. But we will also look at the establishments that have licenses. We all know how licenses are obtained in this country. We will check the licensed abattoirs and check whether they are violating any norms, if yes then they won’t be allowed,” Bagel said

News 18 also asked him whether, after their drive against the illegal slaughterhouses, which has resulted in paucity of meat in the state, the government would consider importing meat from other states to compensate for the loss he said, “Badhava nahi dena hai [It will not be promoted].”

He added that BJP had secured a huge, unprecedented mandate not just for change of government but “for change in the system. This move was part of the manifesto. People should not have been surprised by this crackdown.”

| Edited by: Mirza Arif Beg
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