Thursday, June 1, 2017

Cattle Ban Notification Upsets Tanners & Farmers


The notification issued by the Government of India recently banning sale of cows, buffaloes, bulls, bullocks, steers, heifers, calves and camels for slaughter has shocked farmers, tanners, social activists, media persons etc.

Industrialists feel that the ban would serve as a major blow to the world renowned leather industry of Tamil Nadu which accounts for 40% of about $ 6 billion leather export market of the country. Leather units located in places like Ranipet, Erode, Ambur, Mel Visharam and Pallavaram are worst sufferers. Most of the tanneries in these places rely on imported and locally sourced cow and buffalo hides. Their survival will be difficult if raw hides are not available to them for tanning.

Many national newspapers have also editorially criticised the notification as retrograde law. The Times of India came out with a powerful editorial saying “the environment ministry introduced rules to regulate cattle trade will effectively kill the buffalo meat industry. This will be the immediate impact. Subsequently it will increase already high levels of stress on agriculture as livestock trade – on which draconian restrictions will be placed – is an essential component of the agrarian economy. This law will have a harmful impact on farmers and industries which use livestock products as input. In addition, it undermines federalism as it encroaches on the domain of states”.

India’s leather exporters have pointed out the ban could very much hit the industry which is struggling to realise its share of leather exports in the highly competitive world market.

According to many sources, exporters are planning to request the environment ministry to allow trading of buffaloes at livestock markets as in the case of goats and sheep.

Mr. M. Rafeeque Ahmed, President of All India Skin and Hide Tanners and Merchants Association, has said that the ban would not only reduce export earnings but also hit farmers’ interests if the livestock fairs are taken away from cattle trade.

It is also reported that the ban has hit business everywhere in the country. In a century-old cattle market in Poigai in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu farmers and livestock merchants were reportedly nervous at the weekly market on Tuesday fearing reprisals and legal complications and business concluded was less than 50%.

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