Meat is flesh creatures that were hours ago living and feeling lives, no different to us. Meat is the result of murdering innocent animals such as buffaloes, bulls, cows, calves, sheep, goats, lambs, pigs and chickens – to eat. As if there is nothing else to eat!

The Indian meat industry calls flesh of oxen “beef”, “meat” that of buffaloes, and “mutton” of sheep and goats. Then there is “poultry meat” that is mainly chicken, “sea food” and “pork” from pigs.

Unfortunately the Government of India thinks there is nothing wrong in supporting those in the business of killing and trading in animal carcasses and so give subsidies, tax breaks, and so on.

The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) declared that the export of “Meat & Preparations” between April 2011 and February 2012 was valued at Rs 1,28,165.86 crores and was the third-highest food export from India. So, try to imagine the number of animals killed…

Furthermore, during this period “Marine Production” topped the list of exports and was valued at Rs 1,54,791.86 crores. Whereas in 2010-11, meat and marine products together totalled Rs 9,95,578.52 crores. Meanwhile, the value of India’s beef exports nearly doubled from $1.9 billion in 2010-11 to $3.2 billion in 2012-13.

Besides the inhumanity of the act of slaughter itself, there are countless other cruelties that precede the final killing.

Following anti-ritualistic or “halal” slaughter campaigns in many countries, in January 2021 the APEDA dropped the word “halal” from its red meat manual. APEDA deleted portions that required exporters to ensure “animals are slaughtered by “halal” system under strict vigilance of recognised and registered Islamic body as per the tenets of Islamic Shariyat and the certificate for “halal” is issued by the representative of registered Islamic body under whose supervision the slaughter is conducted in order to meet the requirements of importing country”. APEDA manual now requires animals “slaughtered according to the requirements of importing country/importer”. In short, the meat exported can be either “halal” or “jhatka”.

Distress Sale

India is absolutely dependent on the monsoon and deficient rainfall like in 2012 can adversely affect up to 600 million people. No rain – no crops – no food – no fodder – for humans and animals. Government camps like the one at Mhaswad in Maharashtra provide free fodder for cattle, but only a few thousand farmers along with their scrawny livestock (cows, buffaloes, goats) shift to such places. Some get loans to buy fodder, whereas for many others drought results in distress sale of cattle.

It is very sad that farmers are unable to feed their oxen and cows – or themselves for that matter. They have no option but to sell their emaciated animals for slaughter. For example, every week more than 20 trucks, each of them carrying 15 pairs of animals, totalling 300 cattle, from Anantapur district (Andhra Pradesh) are sold to slaughterhouses in Bengaluru to produce 12,000 kgs of beef.

The suffering involved in the transport of cattle, sheep and goats is well known, being a common sight. Animals are made to walk long distances to abattoirs without food or water en route. Others are transported by trucks, are loaded so closely that movement is impossible and suffocation results. Loading/unloading in itself is done with shocking callousness. Animals are prodded in the sensitive parts of their bodies with pointed instruments or electric prods are used and their tails are mercilessly twisted to get them moving. Very often, they are bodily picked up and thrown into the truck, on top of other animals. Unloading requires a similar ritual resulting in further injuries. Even when transported long distances, the animals are not given water, leave alone food. Some reach their destination dead and many with fractured bones.

Legs are intentionally broken to aid easy handling plus put healthy cattle into the ‘useless’ category. The agony they undergo till they are ironically relieved of it at the end is simply unspeakable. Any cruelty that one can imagine of humans is perpetrated on them. Imagine, in November 2014 at Cochin’s Kaloor abattoir a cow while awaiting slaughter delivered a calf.

Illegal Slaughter

Cattle rustling, lifting or stealing animals off the streets and theft from farms is another sad story. It leads to illegal sale and slaughter.

In Uttar Pradesh the cattle mafia operate hand in glove with the police despite a ban on cow slaughter and the existence of the Gangster Act and the National Security Act. According to reliable sources 5,000 cows are illegally butchered every month. It is further proved beyond doubt: in 115 registered abattoirs, 8.5 lakh cattle are officially slaughtered annually; but in 2012, 1.89 million tonnes beef was exported from UP. No wonder the state contributes 44% of the country’s export.

In June 2013, Hindustan Times (Kolkata) printed an article focusing on how cattle get to the Indo-Bangladesh border. They are stolen (in Meerut and Muzaffarnagar farmers stay awake guarding their cattle at night) and despatched in trucks from Uttar Pradesh. Lifting cows off the Delhi roads at night is a common, criminal act. Every time a truck is caught, the police receive a phone call from some politician to release it.

In December 2014 near Bareilly, en route Shahjahanpur to Rampur in Uttar Pradesh, a sealed tanker skidded off the road, over turned, and the driver fled. It had been speeding because on a tip-off, cops were chasing it. Inside 22 sedated bulls were found, 17 of which had already suffocated to death. The animals were going to be illegally slaughtered.

Teaching Children to be Butchers

Kootinoru kunjadu means “one little lamb as a companion” in Malayam. But, it has a deeper meaning…

In 2013 a scheme by this totally misleading name was started by the Kerala Ministry of Agriculture’s Animal Husbandry department with the aim of encouraging among students, goat rearing and generating income without working hard. Both these reasons and their outcome do not impart good values in children – in fact, they are averse to the culture of our country.

The project was implemented by Meat Products of India (MPI) who sold students 4-month old vaccinated lambs valued at Rs 2,500/- at a subsidised rate of Rs 1,000/-. The Rs 1,500/- subsidy per animal was borne by the Kerala government utilising taxpayers’ money.

Astonishingly, the Animal Welfare Club of St Thomas High School (Kallara, Kottayam District) selected 100 students from Classes V to X to avail of this diabolical offer.

Under the agreement, MPI would buy back the goats after 8 months of them being companions to the children. They would pay the market price or live body weight for each goat, meaning the then price of flesh, skin and bones per kg.

It goes without saying that MPI would buy to kill although the goats were given to the students as companions. MPI claims it is encouraging goat rearing, but in actuality it is a very cruel and unethical scheme in which young children are encouraged to have no respect for animal lives.

Having to give up their companions for slaughter is bound to affect the young students’ impressionable minds. From guilt to disrespect and lack of reverence for life is the basis on which violence and crime thrives and develops.

The above information was obtained by BWC under Right to Information. Surprisingly, St Thomas High School sees no cruelty in this scheme. They and MPI say the scheme only encourages goat rearing – but goat rearing is cruel because goat killing is an integral part of the venture.

As if this were not bad enough, a couple of months later, a similar diabolical scheme was started for schools in Palakkad under which 5 chickens were distributed free of cost to 100 students.

BWC feels it is downright disgraceful to expose school children to such animal exploitation and schemes. The government is teaching children to be butchers by encouraging schemes that make them rear animals and birds as companions and then sell them for slaughter. It is a great wrong because these students will grow up having no respect for life – not even for their own parents and family members. BWC wrote along these lines to the Chief Minister, Kerala, twice but received no response and the schemes were not abandoned.

The diabolical Kootinoru Kunjadu scheme was eventually withdrawn by the state government in June 2014 after DAYA and BWC took them to Court over it and the chickens.

Slaughter can never be Humane

Many animal welfare people feed their animals meat – kill an animal to feed another. In fact, they themselves eat meat and salve their consciences by saying the animals were killed humanely. The difference between them and those who work for animal rights is their reaction and attitude towards suffering and killing of animals. While animal rights activists are totally against killing, those who work for animal welfare merely try help lessen the suffering animals undergo prior to being killed – although some ironically say they are against killing too. This kind of attitude from animal welfare persons has unfortunately resulted in people generally condoning the butchering animals for food, and the formation of the term ‘humane slaughter’. Thinking deeply one realises that animal welfare in this instance, is actually animal farewell.

The 1970s and 80s saw a foreign organisation called ISPA (International Society of the Protection of Animals) unsuccessfully trying to introduce stunning of animals in India’s slaughter houses and for the destruction of stray dogs. Much later, disgustingly they admitted receiving commission from the manufacturers of the stunning equipment supplied.

Years ago, due to animal welfare people teaching butchers how to slaughter, the Government of India mistakenly appointed the then Chairman of the Expert Committee for the Promotion of the Meat Industry as the Chairman of the Animal Welfare Board of India. To enhance export of beef (read kill more cows, bulls and calves) the man had been responsible for the recommendation that beef be labelled buffalo meat. (Hindu religious sentiments forbid beef consumption and killing cows.) BWC, with the support of many other organisations, led a successful protest and he was removed from the post in 1990 within a year of his appointment. Just as well, because he was actively promoting the modernisation of slaughter houses.

Modern/mechanical/mechanised slaughter houses result in more animals being killed and at a faster rate, with the use of so-called ‘humane slaughter’ techniques and systems. It is an assembly line commodities operation with butchers sparing no time to begin skinning…

Beauty Without Cruelty strongly feels it is bad enough to kill – rather, murder – and that ‘humane slaughter’ that involves stunning the animals to make them unconscious (the blow more often than not misses the centre of the forehead of the animal) prior to killing is nothing less than adding insult to injury. It plainly results in first the pain of so-called stunning followed by the pain of actual killing, leave alone the trauma involved.

In fact, BWC rejects outright the act of slaughter as ethically unacceptable and does not seek to dignify it by debating upon the relative merits of various methods of slaughter. No slaughter can be humane – the terms ‘slaughter’ and ‘humane’ contradict each other. It is therefore identical to ‘humane murder’.

BWC recognises the right of every living creature to live a life of unhindered freedom. And, BWC can not understand the outrage over horse meat being passed off as beef, or rat meat being passed off as lamb, or fox meat being passed off as donkey meat: for those who eat meat, what difference does it make if the flesh is that of horses, cattle, donkeys, foxes, rats or goats?

Modernisation means Killing More Animals

Even if modernisation (or mechanisation) of slaughter houses does not translate into so-called humane-slaughter, modernisation results in very many more animals killed.

Similarly modernisation of meat shops enhances killing of animals. The National Meat and Poultry Processing Board which operates under the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, gives grants for modernisation of meat shops (up to Rs 5 lakh per shop) under the National Mission on food Processing.

Genuine Environmentalists Do Not Eat Meat

The single most advantageous "green" move an individual can make is to stop eating animals. It is good for the earth and all humans who inhabit it.

Livestock farming produces 8-18% of greenhouse-gas emissions because amazingly high quantities of gasses are belched and farted by domestic animals.

Worldwide 1.3 billion people raise animals. And, roughly one-third of the world’s crop land, water and grain is utilised for feeding these animals even though they are far less efficient than plants at converting nutrients and water into calories.

1,500 litres of water goes into producing 1 kilogram of grain; but ten times more water, i.e. 15,000 litres, into producing 1 kilogram of beef.

   produces   Meat Protein
2 kilograms          1 kilogram Chicken
3 kilograms          1 kilogram Pork
1 kilogram           4-6 kilograms Lamb
1 kilogram           5-20 kilograms Beef
                        (Cows need five times as
                         much feed to produce
                         1 kilogram of protein as meat,
                         than to produce it as milk.)

Export of Carcasses

13% of the world’s cattle population (half of which is buffalo) and 15% of the goat population is from India. Since India’s livestock is not stall-fed with bone-meal, but graze on green pastures, making them resistant to major animal diseases, many countries prefer their meat. This has resulted in a continuous rising demand for bovine meat from India.

Under India’s Export Policy 2012 “beef of cows, oxen and calf” is prohibited but “meat of buffalo (both male and female)” is allowed. Gelatine and glues derived from bones and hides, and leather is also placed in the “free” (allowed) category. But, export of tallow, fat and/or oils of any animal origin excluding fish oil and lanolin are “prohibited” and therefore not permitted to be exported.

Exports of meat and meat products crossed Rs 6,000 crore in 2009-10. India exported around 5 lakh tonne of mostly buffalo, sheep and goat meat to 60-odd countries in 5 years. Vietnam, Malaysia and Egypt, followed by the Middle East countries, were the main importers of India’s frozen meat products. But according to Vietnam’s customs data, the country imports no buffalo meat from India – people suspect China is the real purchaser.

In 2010, to ensure strict quality standards for buffalo meat exports, APEDA decided to subject municipal slaughter houses to the same quality certification standards as being followed for the 35 private abattoirs in the country located in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh. This was because exporters had been procuring meat from some municipal slaughter houses even though these abattoirs lacked essential amenities such as water, light, drainage, holding pens, etc. Inspection by APEDA in collaboration with Export Inspection Council (EIC) and Directorate of Marketing and Inspections (DMI) ensured that the meat exported was free from diseases including foot and mouth disease.

BWC feels it is absolutely wrong for India to export meat. It is particularly shocking that as much as 60% of the carcasses that come out of Deonar abattoir run by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are exported. Export from Deonar began in 1985 because of underutilised capacity of the slaughter house despite the BMC having given a public assurance vide their 1983 resolution banning export of meat. When the slaughter house shifted out of Bandra to Deonar, the BMC said their resolution that no animals would be killed for export would be implemented, and Deonar would only cater to the “need of the locals and not foreigners and exports”. In fact, Deonar has a long sordid past and for the sake of extra revenue, has always wanted to increase the number of animals killed. End 2011 (27 years later) although the exports accounted for Rs 226 crores annually, Deonar has been running into losses of Rs 116 crores for a decade. Moreover, they think nothing of covering up the fact that about 200 cattle and sheep are smuggled into Mumbai daily and slaughtered on their premises.

The good news is that in November 2013 on an application made by Akhil Bharat Krishi Go Seva Sangh, the National Green Tribunal, Western Zone Bench at Pune, held that the certificate of registration issued by APEDA to Deonar slaughter house was illegal and invalid and directed its suspension with effect from 1 January, 2014. In effect every day 6,000 animals will not be slaughtered for export.

In 2015 following a strike at Deonar by beef traders, the Mumbai Suburban Beef Dealer Association’s President complained of harassment by right-wing groups resulting in beef having gone off the shelves in nearly 75 towns and cities. It was claimed that on an average 450 cattle were slaughtered every day for internal consumption. Mumbai had 900 licensed beef stalls and as many illegal stalls.

This was followed in March 2015 with Maharashtra extending the ban on slaughter of cows and calves, to bulls and bullocks. Killing cow progeny was made illegal following the President of India’s assent to The Maharashtra State Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 1995. BWC had helped and supported several organisations and individuals who tirelessly worked for two decades to achieve it.

To date Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkand, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakand, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Jammu & Kashmir have totally banned the slaughter of cow and its progeny.

Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Goa, Odisha and Tamil Nadu have banned cow slaughter too, but permit bulls and bullocks to be killed if they are certified as “fit for slaughter”.

However, no ban exists in the north-eastern states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura, as also in Sikkim and West Bengal. Kerala falls in this category albeit cow progeny under 10 years can not be killed in the state.

Implementation (rather non-implementation) of the law where bans exist, is of course the bottom line, and is of grave concern. Unfortunately, the varied bans on slaughter of cattle in India do not cover buffalo whose meat/beef is internationally called carabeef.

While the export of India’s buffalo meat is estimated at over 1.66 million in 2012, a US Department of Agriculture report (strang
e that it should be USDA and not an Indian body) stated that export is expected to jump by 30% to 2.15 tonne in calendar year 2013 due to better prices following lower cost of production. When internationally compared production costs are lower in India because herd growth is evident due to strong dairy demand and new incentives from slaughter facilities to salvage previously underutilised animals. The report went on to say that given its tremendous export growth India is likely to become the world’s largest buffalo meat exporter by 2013.

As expected, in April 2013 it was reported that the Government of India’s Pink Revolution – like the White (milk) and Green (agriculture), Pink stands for meat – to promote meat production and export had increased 44% in 4 years, and that India, having overtaken Australia and New Zealand, had become the world’s top exporter of beef in 2012. Furthermore, India’s export earnings from bovine meat were expected to rise to Rs 18,000 crore in 2012-2013. Uttar Pradesh killed the most animals producing 3 lakh tonnes of buffalo meat in 2011, 70% of which was exported.

Although no document entitled Meat Export Policy exists, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries gives subsidies of Rs 15 crore to modernize abattoirs, while APEDA inspects India’s 38 integrated abattoirs from which meat (carcasses of killed animals) is exported. Moreover, the government itself is in the business of killing animals as was first seen way back in 1973 when Meat Products of India Ltd, a public sector undertaking, was established in Kerala. It now holds a category No 1 license from the Ministry of Food Processing Industries for the “manufacture (sic) and marketing of meat and meat products”.

In response to a newspaper advertisement (28 June 2013) inviting comments and suggestions, Beauty Without Cruelty endorsed the petition praying for a review of India’s Meat Export Policy submitted by Jainacharya Vijay Ranasundarsurji to the Rajya Sabha Committee on Petitions.

The RS secretariat received over 10 lakh memoranda in support of the petition. People expected the Committee to seriously reconsider meat export and recommend a ban, but their report No 151 presented in February 2014, to say the least, was disappointing. The Committee stated its findings, observations and recommendations, but at no point did it suggest that export of meat should be banned although overwhelmingly demanded by over a million persons for cogent reasons. Instead, there is good reason to fear that some of the recommendations that were made will lead to more animals being slaughtered.

Details about the petition and its outcome can be read at

Import of Carcasses

Under India’s Import Policy 2012, since meat of bovine animals is not prohibited but restricted, we find veal (calf meat) being imported, sold and served in India. (Cow and calf leather also come in to the country.) However, import of tallow and fats of pig, poultry, bovine, sheep and goats are all prohibited.

Meat of swine, sheep or goats, poultry (turkeys, ducks, geese and guinea fowls) and rabbits is under the “free” policy. Similarly prepared or preserved meat (including liver of any animal) is “free” except that of bovine animals.

Although live fish of different species are restricted, import of many different varieties of fish (mostly excluding their livers and roes), crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic invertebrates (like sea cucumbers, sea urchins and jellyfish) is allowed for human consumption and therefore “free”. Fats and oils and their fractions of fish or marine mammals are also “free”. Caviar is also “free”.

Success, but not enough…

Beauty Without Cruelty has over the years vehemently protested against relocating or setting up of new abattoirs and the modernisation of existing ones in different cities: Deonar at Mumbai, Idgah at Delhi, Al Kabeer at Mumbai, Howrah, and Rudraram (near Hyderabad), Fair Exports near Coimbatore, Allana at Mourigram near Howrah, two slaughter-houses in Solapur and the proposed eight new ultra-modern abattoirs in Uttar Pradesh for which licences were granted in 2011.

In the early 1980s BWC began an endless campaign exposing abattoirs and their modernisation. To begin with slaughter houses such as Deonar and Idgah were investigated and exposed.

In 1994 BWC provided information for a Delhi High Court case filed by politician and animal activist, Ms Maneka Gandhi, against the Municipal Corporation of Delhi relating to the Idgah abattoir. The Supreme Court’s refusal to interfere in the High Court’s verdict turned out to some extent in favour of the animals because the slaughterhouse remained closed for three months and later instead of 13,000 animals slaughtered daily, only 2500 animals (2000 sheep & goats and 500 buffaloes) were killed per day.

In 2002 strong objections were sent by BWC to the Prime Minister, Planning Commission, Agriculture Minister, and the Press regarding India’s 10th 5-Year Plan which was trivialising animal killing. Also a public signature petition was organised together with like-minded organisations. The response received from the Government was very favourable as the Planning Commission totally rejected the proposals made by the meat lobby.

In 2004 the Amravati Municipal Corporation (AMC) planned to set up a mechanised slaughter house. This decision was opposed by the workers of Pashudhan Bachao Samiti. Beauty Without Cruelty supported and helped them. Ultimately, in a rare happening, the AMC declared cancellation of their decision by passing a resolution in March 2005 to close down the mechanical slaughter house. The cost of the project was Rs 98.2 lakhs and Rs 47 lakhs out of the Government of India’s sanctioned contribution of Rs 49.25 lakhs had been received and spent.

Although unsuccessful, BWC has periodically strongly objected to the setting up of different national boards to promote meat, poultry, fish, etc. Quite frankly, it is not the job of the Government to be promoting the business of killing, e.g. the National Meat and Poultry Processing Board.

The Government should not even be setting up slaughter houses on some excuse of another like upon fearing an outbreak of Japanese encephalitis, in 2012 Delhi’s Health Minister asked the DDA (Delhi Development Authority) to provide land for a slaughterhouse to kill pigs.

BWC was called for committee hearings pertaining to the two slaughter houses in Solapur. We believe a couple of our points were reflected in the report submitted to the High Court by the Judge who conducted hearings. Together with Viniyog Parivar, BWC strongly objected to the decision of the Solapur Municipal Corporation to use money received as taxes, and Sonankur (a private enterprise) to build slaughterhouses on the grounds that it was a violation of article 51-A of the Constitution of India. Moreover, we demanded that institutions built using public money should be kept open to free public scrutiny and inspection. BWC even offered to pay for glass walls for the slaughterhouses, but unfortunately our offer was not taken seriously. As things stood in 2012, although the Solapur Municipal slaughterhouse at Mulegoan Tanda was halted, Sonankur began operating even before the outcome of the High Court case.

In 2007, BWC lent support to Sarvodaya group’s efforts to ban bull slaughter by partly joining a padyatra from Pune to Baramati. (The Sarvodaya group consists primarily of followers of Mahatma Gandhi and Vinoba Bhave.) The purpose of the padyatra was to raise awareness about the importance to the country and directly to the rural population of stopping the legalised slaughter of bulls. It was in the context of the Maharashtra state government (rather, a certain cabinet minister in it) calling for a review of its own decision taken in 1995 to ban slaughter of bulls in the state. Pune’s Phule Waada was chosen as the starting point to commemorate the contribution of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule of the 19th century to the awareness of the importance of keeping alive the progeny of bulls. Baramati was chosen to be the destination because it is the home town of the Union Minister of Agriculture, who had blocked the passage of the bill at the Centre on the grounds of it not being sustainable.

Not only does BWC encourage people to give up eating meat, but has been continuously joining others in raising objections to increasing animal slaughter like the setting up of 8 new ultra-modern abattoirs in Uttar Pradesh for which licences were granted in 2011.

In February 2012, BWC again supported Viniyog Parivar in strongly opposing the Report of the Working Group on Animal Husbandry and Dairying 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) which included the recommendation to lift the existing ban on export of beef. We believe that killing cattle and other animals to sell their carcasses ill-becomes India, a country known for its principle of ahinsa. Obviously in response to the lakhs of objections received, a month later the Government declared the recommendation “an inadvertent clerical mistake”!

Then in June 2012 the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India, issued an newspaper “Invitation of Request for Proposal for empanelment of Programme Management Agency (PMA) for the up-scaling of scheme for Infrastructure Development For Food Processing: “Setting up of New Abattoirs/Modernization of Existing Abattoirs” to be implemented in the country for approximately 25 new abattoirs and modernization of 25 existing abattoirs.” Such up-scaling of schemes and proposals under the XI Plan are strongly objected to by BWC because it is not the work of the Government to encourage and bless killing of animals.

In June 2012 violence erupted followed by curfew at Joga village in Mansa district of Punjab because people were upset that cows were being clandestinely slaughtered at a bone crushing factory. At the site the government is building a memorial worth Rs 2 crores. BWC wishes that this amount had been earmarked for saving animals instead.

Fearing that an increased number of animals would be killed if the Pune Municipal Corporation’s Kondhwa abattoir was run by a private party, BWC joined the agitation (consisting of organisations and spiritual leaders from the Jain community) against the Standing Committee’s August 2012 sanction to privatise the abattoir. The outcome was that all political parties unanimously quashed the resolution.

In July 2014 a newspaper notice appeared seeking objections, if any, against the setting up of a slaughterhouse at Dhule in Maharashtra. BWC immediately consulted Viniyog Parivar and wrote a long letter to the Municipal Commissioner pointing out why a private individual should not be given permission; we also cited a number of other valid reasons and which laws would be violated. Simultaneously the President of the Sarvajeev Mangal Pratishthan approached the Jain community of Dhule and they strongly protested. It is therefore unlikely that permission will be granted for this long standing demand which had the backing of the previous central government.


Some years ago food politics was popularised among university students: they claimed to eat and promote beef and pork because they did not believe in “holy cows” and “unholy pigs”. However, in response to a petition filed by the Rashtriya Goraksha Sena, in September 2012 the High Court ordered the Delhi Police to ensure that their planned beef and pork festival did not take place on the campus of the Jawaharlal Nehru University. The organisers were mistaken that beef formed the diet of almost 85% Indians, but referred to no percentage for pork consumption. (To set the record right: the 2001 census data states 80.5% are Hindus, 13.4% Muslims, 2.3% Christians, 1.9% Sikhs, 0.8% Buddhists, 0.4% Jains, 0.6% Other Religions & Persuasions, and 0.1 Religion not stated. And, from the NSSO 2011 source: 19.59% Scheduled Castes, and 8.63% Scheduled Tribes.) The fact is, what ever their religion, or community, Indians do not eat meat daily; most eat it rarely, but since they do eat it, it makes them non-vegetarian. (It was in 2008 at the JNU that a PhD student from Nagaland with the help of his friends butchered a dog in his hostel room – dog meat is eaten in North East Indian states of Nagaland and Mizoram.) BWC sees all species as equal and wishes that they’d condemn eating all animals instead.


On 24 November 2014 the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India sent a communication to the Food Safety Commissioners of all the states/UTs as well as to the Administrative Secretaries in-charge of Urban Local Bodies requesting them to ensure compliance with the legal provisions as well as animal welfare measures. A copy of the letter together with the Enforcement of legal provisions and regulations regarding Meat and Meat Products, operations and management of slaughterhouses, and animal handling practices can be seen here.

A copy of the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Regulation of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011 can be accessed under Legislation on this BWC website.

For those interested in taking action the following information might prove helpful:

Municipal Corporations are no longer licensing authorities and all meat shops and slaughterhouses must have a FSSA license. (The penalty is up to Rs 5 lakh a day.)

Transport of animals for slaughter has to be as per FSSA Regulations (Licensing and Registration) 2011.

No Meat shop is allowed to slaughter animals – not even chicken or fish. 

No animal other than sheep, goat, bovines, pigs, poultry, fish are allowed to be slaughtered for food. This makes it illegal to slaughter emus, dogs, cats, camels or any other animals anywhere in India. In 2016 rabbits got added at (v) below. So now 2.5 of FSS (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 wherein definitions of animals, carcass and meat are given, as per sub-regulation 2.5.1(a) “animal” means an animal belonging to any of the species specified below:


(ii) Caprines
(iii) Suillines
(iv) Bovines
(v) Leporids

and includes poultry and fish.
The slaughtering of animals of any other species other than the ones listed above are not permissible under the FSS Act and Regulations.

There is no bigger killer of animals than the meat industry and they flout laws. By taking action against and getting 1 chicken stall closed, about 4,000 birds will probably be saved in a year. 

Most meat shops employ young children which attracts Section 3 of the Child Labour Act 1986.

Meat shops are a public nuisance under Section 268 of IPC and may be negligently spreading infectious diseases under Section 269 of IPC. 

Roadside meat shops make a mockery of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974. The State Pollution Control Boards are the governing body. 

Unlicensed Slaughter houses and Meat shops
In 2017 the new Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh immediately ordered illegal slaughter houses and meat shops to close. Despite great opposition from butchers and traders, the crack down (the implementation of the 2015 orders of the National Green Tribunal and 2017 Supreme Court) continued and was in fact joined by similar clamping down operations in Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Chhatisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.


Some existing rules being enforced are:

* Stay outside a 100 metre radius of religious places

* Meat sellers to stay beyond a 50 metre radius of religious places

* Stay away from vegetable markets

* Get NOC from civic body, circle officer, FSDA in cities

* Get NOC from gram panchayat, circle officer and FSDA in villages

* Any FSDA violation will result in immediate suspension of licence

* All meat shop workers must get health certificate from government doctors

* Get meat certified from veterinarian

* Shops must have curtains or tinted glass to ensure meat is not visible to public

* Can’t slaughter ill, milch or pregnant animal

* Must get premises whitewashed every six months

* All knives and blades in shop must be of steel

* Must transport meat only in insulated freezer vehicles from slaughter houses

* Must have complete records of slaughter house purchases

* Should have proper disposal of waste

* Should have refrigerator with transparent doors

* Should have a geyser

Army Slaughter Units

In 2017 the Ministry of Defence (Government of India) ordered a phased closure of its then existing 39 military farms across India, and the multi-member expert panel on reforms in military and financial management recommended closure of all their butcher units. The annual budget of these farms was close to Rs 375 crore. The maintenance cost and manpower was not considered advisable in the current scenario.

The first Military Farm was established in 1889 at Allahabad by the British. Of the 130 the last to close was Delhi Cantonment on 31 March 2021.

Good news no doubt, but the cattle was sold at a nominal amount of Rs 1000 per head to central or state dairy departments or state dairy co-operatives who will very likely exploit more animals for their milk and they will eventually be killed for their meat.

Air Pollution from Meat Consumption is linked to Death

Fossil fuel air pollution causes almost 1 in 5 deaths globally each year. A study undertaken by the National Academy of Science of the USA and published in May 2021 found that 12,700 deaths are connected to production of animal based foods and declared that eating less meat was one of the biggest ways consumers could help reduce particle pollution generated by animal agriculture.

No Meat - No Heat

Some non-vegetarians have been convinced by BWC to support Sundays without Meat for Climate Change. Shifting the world’s reliance on fossil fuels to renewable energy sources is no doubt important, but, according to a recent report in World Watch magazine, the world’s best chance for achieving timely, disaster-averting climate change will actually be by eating less meat. Meatless Mondays are quite popular abroad (and moving towards meat once a week) but Beauty Without Cruelty feels Sundays without Meat are appropriate for India.

BWC thanks every one who is spreading the word and appeals to their non-vegetarian friends to give up eating meat every Sunday. (Every day would of course be best.)


Support life, not death by joining our two campaigns:
* Sundays without Meat for Climate Change
* Meat = Murder
by condemning slaughter of animals. Ask BWC for car stickers in English and Hindi.

Page last updated on 24/05/21