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International Journal of Agriculture Sciences
ISSN: 0975-3710&E-ISSN: 0975-9107, Volume 10, Issue 23, 2018
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Review Article
Subject Matter Specialist (Animal Genetics & Breeding), College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Udgir, 413517, Maharashtra A nimal and Fishery Sciences University,
Nagpur, 440006, Maharashtra, India
Department of Animal Physiology, College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Udgir, 413517, Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Scien ces University, Nagpur, 440006,
Maharashtra, India
Subject Matter Specialist (Animal Nutrition), Livestock Farm Complex, College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Udgir, 413517, Maharashtra Animal and Fishery
Sciences University, Nagpur, 440006, Maharashtra, India
Corresponding Author: Email-
Received: November 24, 2018; Revised: December 11, 2018; Accepted: December 12, 2018; Published: December 15, 2018
Dongre V.B., et al., (2018) Cow Slaughter Ban: From farmers’ perspective. International Journal of Agriculture Sciences, ISSN: 0975 -3710 & E-ISSN: 0975-9107,
Volume 10, Issue 23, pp.-
Copyright©2018 Dongre V.B., et al., This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits
unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credit
Cattle are considered sacred in different religions including Hindu and the cow’s
status as a 'caretaker' led to identifying it as an almost maternal figure in Hindu,
hence call it as gaumata. Islam allows the slaughter of cows and consumption of
beef as long as the cow is slaughtered humanely in a religious ritual called
ah/zabiha similar to the Jewish Shechita. In India, many rulers of the
Mughal Empire had imposed a ban on the slaughter of cows, because of the large
Hindu and Jain populations of the country who worship cow. Aurangzeb also had
imposed ban on slaughter of cattle in some selected places. The strict laws are in
Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar
Pradesh, where the slaughter of cow and its progeny, including bulls and bullocks
of all ages is completely banned. Total 24 States and 5 UTs of India have
legislation on banning or restricting cow and its progeny’s slaughter [1]. Buffalo
meat (carabeef) is surplus in India. There is a vast scope to set up modern
slaughter facilities and cold store chains in meat and poultry processing sector.
India’s current level of meat and meat-based exports is around Rs. 8,000 million.
In the last six years foreign investment in this segment stood at Rs. 5,000 million
which is more than 50 percent of the total investment made in this sector. The
current level of exports of meat and meat products from India is US$ 190 million,
the major destinations being the countries in the Middle East and South East Asia.
Meat processing sector has attracted a total investment of US$ 471.1 million in the
last six years [2].
Economic Perspectives of Ban on Cow Slaughter
The livestock sector is an important component of Indian agriculture. The
contribution of livestock sector has been immense in fulfilling the animal protein
requirement of ever growing human population. India has a huge livestock
population and efficient utilization of these resources including production and
utilization of livestock products is important to earn increased returns and sustain
livestock production activities. A non-descript cow, weighing about 300 kg,
consumes about 10-12 kg dry fodder valued at Rs.10 per day. In return she
produces about 20-25 kg dung and hardly 1-2 kg of milk per day. In this situation,
some farmers may like to get rid of these low productive cattle. However, only 71
of the 456 slaughter houses are certified by the concerned state pollution control
boards as being equipped with necessary hygienic and anti-pollution mechanism
to provide hygienic meat.
Impact of Cow Slaughter
Different perspectives need to be emphasized regarding impact on the present
availability of the animal husbandry resources. It could affect India’s thriving
animal husbandry sector which has made India the second largest beef exporter.
It is likely to have an adverse impact on the cuisine and business of premier hotels
and might affect the foreign tourism like in Kerala. Following are some of the
factors discussed:
Fodder availability for animals (Scarcity)
India’s cattle need roughly 30 million hectares of land for their grazing as well as
an equal amount of land for their fodder requirements. India possesses 15 percent
world cattle population and 16 percent of human population to be sustained and
progressed on 2 percent of total geographical areas. Due to ever increasing
population pressure of human and urbanization, agricultural land is shrinking
which was mainly used for food and cash crops, thus there is little chance of
having good quality arable land available for fodder production. Since last few
years, farmers are trending towards rearing of shall ruminants as compare to large
and therefore there is a pressure on availability of land and pasture for grazing of
small ruminant. While sheep and goats are maintained by certain sections of the
farming communities purely for economic reasons, cows are maintained by all
sections of the society both for economic and sentimental reasons. With the
introduction of high yielding varieties of food crops to meet the needs of the
International Journal of Agriculture Sciences
ISSN: 0975-3710 & E-ISSN: 0975-9107, Volume 10, Issue 23, 2018, pp.-7579-7580.
Available online at
The livestock sector alone contributes nearly 25.6 percent of value of output at current prices of total value of output in Agriculture, Fishing and Forestry sector. The
overall contribution of Livestock Sector in total Gross Domestic Products (GDP) is nearly 4.11 percent at current prices during 2012-13. As per 19th livestock census, the number of
animals in milk, cows and buffaloes, has increased from 77.04 million to 80.52 million showing a growth of 4.51 percent. The Female Cattle population has increased by 6.52
percent over the previous census. The exotic/crossbred milch cattle increased from 14.4 million to 19.42 million, an increase of 34.78 percent. The total Cattle contributes around
37.28 percent of the total livestock population. Out of the total cattle population in the country, around 69.7 percent of the cattle are non-descript with low milk production.
Livestock sector, Cattle
International Journal of Agriculture Sciences
ISSN: 0975-3710&E-ISSN: 0975-9107, Volume 10, Issue 23, 2018
|| Bioinfo Publications ||
Cow Slaughter Ban: From farmers’ perspective
growing human population, the yield of crop residues has fallen down causing
significant problem of fodder shortage. Land allocation for cultivation of green
fodder crops is limited and has hardly ever exceeded five per cent of the gross
cropped area [3]. The demand of feed and fodder has been mentioned in Table
7, but the values may change if the cow slaughter ban extended to the entire
Impact on Climate change
The atmospheric toxic gasses methane and nitrous oxide have been estimated to
contribute to 27 per cent of global warming from the domesticated animals. India
is also among the "at extreme risk" countries of the world where the economic
impact of climate change will be most keenly felt by 2025. By burping, belching
and excreting copious amounts of methane a greenhouse gas that traps 20 times
more heat than carbon dioxide. India's livestock of roughly 485 million (including
sheep and goats) contributes more in global warming than the vehicles the
animals obstruct. India’s livestock sector being one of the largest in the world has
come under scrutiny of the international environmental agencies for its
greenhouse gas emissions. Available estimates of greenhouse gas emission for
India’s livestock are based on default rates, as provided by the Inter-
Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The emission of greenhouse
gases depends on the quantity and quality of feed consumed.
Increase in the price of other meats and by-products
Cow meat is considered as a poor man’s meat, it might affect the poor people who
depend on beef. As consequences of ban on the cow slaughter there will be an
increase in the price of other livestock meat mainly goat, sheep, chicken and
buffalo. The meat of these livestock is comparatively costly and not affordable for
the poor peoples. Not only meat but there will be increase in the price of items
made from cow by-products. Animal by-products are important to the development
and ultimate availability of modern human medicines. Glands removed from
livestock at slaughter, such as the adrenal, parathyroid, pituitary, thyroid, and
thymus glands; ovaries; pancreas; and testes provide many of the hormones and
enzymes used in the medical field [5].
Increase in the number of unproductive animals
In every city of India, we find cattle on road side which are under pathetic
condition and day by day their numbers are increasing. The present scenario of
the unproductive animal population in the country is not satisfactory. Various
reports at Karuna Foundation, Chennai reveals that these animals’ rumen is full
with plastics. As a consequence of cow slaughter ban, there will be significant
increase in the number of low and unproductive animals which is not economical
to the farmers which are burden on the farmers. It might lead to increase in old
and infirm cow population which Supreme Court in 1958 judgment held that
keeping “useless cattle” alive would be a “wasteful drain” on the nation’s cattle
feed. The farmers will not be able to get good price for their cow for sale. Majority
of the farmers rear male calves for milk letdown and become restless as they do
not contribute anything on the agricultural farm thereafter. It also affects the
process of genetic improvement through selection by culling of under-performing
animals and breeding high-yielding varieties.
Many people are directly and indirectly related to the slaughter/abbator and
related industry for their employment. It will affect the livelihood of large number of
beef producers, traders and farmers. In Utter Pradesh alone, there are 25 lakhs
peoples associated with slaughter house activities directly or indirectly.
Social conflicts
The place of cow in the Hindu religion is like Mother because she nurtures us with
her milk. The ban on cow slaughter might placate religious sentiments and might
showcase the Government’s intention as pro Hindu and might widen the
communal differences.
The increase in large number of unproductive or culled cattle populations will be
the challenging for the government. There must be initiatives from the government
to establish a greater number of Gaushalas, Shelter houses, etc and to encourage
the volunteers to take care of these cows. Recently, Maharashtra state
government has taken an initiative in this regard. Further, the culling guidelines to
the government or private farms should be revised the view of the recent cow
slaughter ban. Cow slaughter ban has its merits and demerits, as indigenous
cattle have more demand for its A2 milk. The Indian Government has launched
various programmes for cattle breed conservations. However, there is need to
promote use of cow dung in every village for cooking, light and power utilization,
some of this waste could be put to useful purpose keeping in mind the issue of
global warming for safety of the earth. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence
it is expected that India’s politicians and administrators can muster the political will
to reduce the unproductive cattle population which is considered burden to the
people and cause of great hindrances in advancement of country considering
change of food habits and nutrition availability through foods.
Application of review:
Study of cow slaughters
Review Category:
Veterinary Science
Acknowledgement / Funding:
Authors are thankful to College of Veterinary &
Animal Sciences, Udgir, 413517, Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Sciences
University, Nagpur, 440006, Maharashtra
*Principal Investigator or Chairperson of research: V B Dongre
University: Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Sciences University, Nagpur, 440006
Research project name or number: Nil
Author Contributions: All authors equally contributed
Author statement:
All authors read, reviewed, agreed and approved the final
All authors agreed that- Written informed consent was obtained from all
participants prior to publish / enrolment
Conflict of Interest: None declared
Ethical approval:
This article does not contain any studies with human
participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
Ethical Committee Approval Number: Nil
Livestock census (2013) Department of Animal Husbandry and
Dairying, Govt. of India.
Dikshita A. K. and Birthal P. S. (2010) Agricultural Economics
Research Review, Vol. 23: 15-28.
Patra A.K. (2014) Asian Australas. J. Anim. Sci., Vol.27 (4): 592-599.
Singh Krishna M. and Meena M. S. and Kumar Abhay (2012) Munich
Personal RePEc Archive,
Aberle Elton D., Forrest John C., Gerrard David E., Mills Edward W.
(2012) Principles of Meat Science, Kendall Hunt Publishing; 5edition
(2012), ISBN-10: 0757599958.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Full-text available
The mixed crop–livestock systems of India are underpinned by the crop residues which contribute on an average 40–60% of the total dry matter intake per livestock unit. There is however considerable regional variation in the dominant type of crop residue: rice and wheat straws in irrigated regions compared to coarse cereal straws and hay from leguminous crops in the drier, semi-arid regions. This paper synthesizes a series of recent studies on the role and importance of crop residues and farmers’ perceptions of fodder quantity and quality in coarse cereal and groundnut based feeding systems. Crop improvement programs for sorghum, pearl millet and groundnut have traditionally focused on grain/pod yield improvement, pest and water stress tolerance. Livestock rearing plays a significant role in the economy of the Indian people. Crop residues and pastures/grasslands are the major feed resource for this activity. Forages can be a simple answer to soil erosion and decline in organic matter and fertility, a problem caused by modern cultivation and fallowing practices on much of the farmland the world over. Keeping in view the constraints in fodder production and in order to overcome the gap between demand and supply, the emphasis need to be given on several steps for augmenting the fodder production. Existing resource utilization pattern needs to be studied in totality according to a system approach. Fodder production is a component of the farming system and efforts need to be made for increasing the forage production in a farming system approach. The holistic approach of integrated resource management will be based on maintaining the fragile balance between productivity functions and conservation practices for ecological sustainability. Forage production must be taken up as a first management goal and 25% of the forest area should be put under trees with regulated accessibility to the farmers. It is suggested to grow forage grasses and fodder trees along village roads and panchayat lands, and on terrace risers/bunds - a non competitive land use system. Conservation of native biodiversity for future improvement along with breeding biotic, abiotic, stress tolerant cultivars of forage species suitable for area not used under arable agriculture can be possible answer to chronic fodder shortages. Use of participatory techniques to identify the problems and to carry out the improvement programme along with In-depth studies on migratory graziers, forage based agroforestry systems and controlled grazing to maintain the productivity of pasture (grazing should be allowed as per carrying capacity) are some other solutions to this problem.
  • A K Dikshita
  • P S Birthal
Dikshita A. K. and Birthal P. S. (2010) Agricultural Economics Research Review, Vol. 23: 15-28.
  • A K Patra
Patra A.K. (2014) Asian Australas. J. Anim. Sci., Vol.27 (4): 592-599.
Principles of Meat Science
  • Aberle Elton
  • Forrest John
  • Gerrard David
  • E Mills Edward
Aberle Elton D., Forrest John C., Gerrard David E., Mills Edward W. (2012) Principles of Meat Science, Kendall Hunt Publishing; 5edition (2012), ISBN-10: 0757599958.