Not against meat-eaters, says Goa Minister

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Panaji, July 27 (IANS) Goa’s Animal Husbandry Minister Mauvin Godinho on Friday told the Assembly that the BJP-led government in the state was not against meat-eaters, and that efforts were being made to reopen the state’s only legal abattoir soon.

The Minister blamed vested interests for trying to create an impression that the government was against non-vegetarians.

“We believe in carrying everybody along and there is no objection in meat being consumed either by tourists or locals,” Godinho said during Zero Hour.

Several legislators have complained of beef scarcity in the coastal state, where the beef-eating minorities account for nearly a third of the state’s population of 1.5 million.

Godinho alleged that non-government organisations from outside the state were responsible for scuttling the operation of the meat complex and holding the regular supply of red meat to ransom.

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“It is the NGOs from outside the state (who are responsible),” Godinho said.

On July 25, Deputy Speaker and BJP MLA Michael Lobo had criticised the state government for failing to ensure regular beef supply to local residents and tourists.

“Some so-called cow protectors are standing at the border and blocking the beef supply being brought into the state. I think we have failed on this. The Goa Meat Complex has been shut. For our feasts, there is a shortage of beef,” Lobo had said in the Assembly.

Earlier this year, beef traders in Goa went on a strike alleging harassment by cow vigilante groups.

Goa on an average consumes around 20-25 tons of beef every day, according to the local meat traders association. The Goa Meat Complex, the state’s only government-run abattoir, has not been functional for several months due to a litigation and technical snags.

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