Deputy Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly and BJP MLA Michael Lobo said on Wednesday that the BJP-led coalition government had failed beef eaters by not making it available in the state and not keeping cow vigilantes in check. “Some so-called cow protectors are standing at the border and blocking the beef that is being brought into Goa. They say that some Gau Rakshaks have thrown phenyl on the beef. The Goa Meat Complex (State abattoir) has been shut. Some people may not like the way I am talking but if we do not want beef to come from Karnataka and Maharashtra, then certified cattle in Goa should be slaughtered at the government meat complex,” Mr. Lobo, MLA from Calangute constituency told the Goa legislative assembly.
While respecting the sentiments of the “Gau Rakshaks”, Mr. Lobo said, “There are people in Goa in large numbers, the Christian and Muslim community and others who eat beef. There are tourists who come here to eat beef. You cannot stop that. But now there is a shortage of beef for our feasts,” Mr. Lobo said. With Christians and Muslims forming one-third of the population, Goa on an average consumes around 20-25 tons of beef every day, and in the absence of operations by State’s only mechanised abttoir in Usgao in South Goa, demand is met by importing from neighbouring states by members of local meat traders’ association.
Early this year, beef traders in Goa went on an indefinite strike to demand that the government take action against vigilante groups who harass them. The only association of beef traders in the state, Meat Traders Association of Goa, alleged that such groups are a hindrance to them bringing beef from neighbouring states into Goa.