PANAJI: Banned in neighbouring Maharashtra, beef is in short supply in Goa too with shops selling it closed for the third day on Wednesday.
A spokesperson for the Goa Meat Sellers Association said the shops were closed because of issues related to short supply of the meat and harassment by animal rights activists.
“Shops are closed for three days now due to short supply and the ban in Maharashtra will only make things worse,” Anwar Bepari told IANS, even as beef sellers across the state are due to meet Wednesday to discuss the shortage.
The shortage comes at the time of Lent, a holy period when Christians, who account for 26 percent of the state’s population, tend to avoid the red meat.
Beef has been a subject of controversy over the last few months with the government cracking down on consignments of both, cuts of red meat and cattle for slaughter, being illegally transported into the state from Karnataka and Maharashtra.
Last month, animal rights activist Amrut Singh was brutally assaulted, allegedly by beef traders from Belgaum in Karnataka while he was tracking illegal transportation of beef from the neighbouring state to Goa.
Singh has in the past been instrumental in stopping several “illegal” consignments of beef from Karnataka and Maharashtra, in co-operation with the police.
Bepari now claims that such raids had bled the beef industry significantly, especially because the state-run Goa Meat Complex, the only slaughter house allowed to butcher cattle, is virtually non-operational due to renovation.
“We are meeting the Goa Meat Complex chief to sort this problem out. If cattle slaughter is allowed at the complex, then at least we can get a small, but legal supply of meat in the market,” Bepari said.