The Indian government had recently withdrew the permission to export more than 25,000 goats and sheep from the western state of Gujarat just before the Islamic festival of Eid-ul Azha (Bakrid). This has irked India’s meat trade industry as the business has suffered heavy loss.
Sheep flocks were brought to different ports of Gujarat for shipment to Gulf countries before Eid. These animals were bound for slaughter in Islamic countries as part of the festival, which involves copious consumption of the meat.
The export traders allege that under the pressure from animal rights activists and few other organisations claiming their love for animals, the Central Shipping Ministry banned the export, stranding the livestock in and around the Gujarat ports.
Pandit Deendayal Port of Kutch was also brought with thousands of livestock which was to be exported to different parts of the world. Traders told that the consignment of about 8000 sheep and goats was stopped before Bakrid.
“Government is not ready to listen. The decision has been taken without taking into consideration the 40,000 families that are dependent on the rearing of these animals in Gujarat,” said a merchant. He added, “Indian exporters would lose their reputation in international markets of Dubai as buyers will think we have cheated them as some of us have taken advance money for the consignment.”
Now merchants have approached the Gujarat High Court in this regard. The High Court has issued notice to the state government, central government and the Pandit Deendayal Trust. The date of hearing of the case has been fixed August 23, however, since Eid is on August 22, traders are restless.