Indian meat traders plan to take the government to court over new rules banning the trading of cattle including buffalo for slaughter, calling it a move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration to hurt the business run mainly by Muslims.
The environment ministry said this week that animal markets will only be able to trade in cattle meant for agricultural purposes, the biggest blow yet for meat suppliers facing several reverses under Modi’s three-year old Hindu nationalist government.
The slaughter of cows, considered holy in Hinduism, is banned in most Indian states and laws on the issue have become more stringent over the past few years. Muslims, who make up 14 percent of India’s 1.3 billion people, dominate the Indian meat industry.
India is the biggest seller of buffalo meat in the world, with exports of more than $4 billion a year to countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia and Egypt.
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