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World's Biggest Beef Exporter is Banning Cow Slaughter. #3 Sectors Set To Face The Burnt The ruling will vastly reduce India's share of $13 billion in the global leather industry

By Komal Nathani

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Government of India's recent notification banning sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter houses has dealt a body blow to the $4-billion Indian cattle market industry.

The ban will not just cripple the beef market, but in a ripple effect, the whole chain, including the leather and exports market, is expected to face disruption with a massive loss of employment to make things worst in the country.

Needless to mention that India's leather industry, which accounts for 13 per cent of the world market, will also be badly hit.

An ABC news wire report stated that the ban on sale and slaughter of cattle would slash India's 20 per cent contribution to the global beef market, triggering an acute crisis of beef for exports.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, India and Brazil are the two top exporters of beef or buffalo meat. The Centre's recent notification will push Brazil to take the lead in export in the world market.

Protest in Some Parts of India

Beefeater states like Kerala and Andhra Pradesh are having a rough time with widespread protests following the ban. A couple of state governments have gone a step further, terming the notification as a dictatorial move with little or no consideration for the huge Muslim population in the country.

Listed below are a few industries, which will bear the brunt of a prohibition imposed in some parts of India till now:

Disruption in $13-billion Leather Industry

The Union Environ Ministry's notification is expected to create significant disruption in the tannery and leather industry. "The decision will disturb an established system where cattle, including milch animals, draught animals and those meant for slaughter, are traded," said Rafeeq Ahmed, President, All India Council for Leather Exports.

The ban has become a big cause of worry for the leather and tannery industry as it will vastly reduce India's share of $13 billion in the global leather industry. The $7-billion domestic leather market, which covers numerous small-scale tanneries, is staring at a bleak future with people's livelihood options being stifled.

Real Worry For International Retail Brands

Big global retail brands like Marks and Spencer, Zara, Hugo Boss and Armani are in a dilemma post the ruling. Most of the international brands have reportedly begun negotiations with their Indian agents on the delivery of leather exports to be sure whether they will be able to keep commitments. The international fashion houses may now switch to leather exporters from other countries to ensure a smooth flow of the trade across the world, stated a media report.

Leather produced in India is famous worldwide because of its unique type of manufacturing with grains, a quality which leather from countries like South America, Bangladesh and Africa lacks. However, leather produced in Bangladesh is similar to that of India. So, the former may benefit from the situation.

Adverse Effect on Dairy Industry

Farmers involved with animal husbandry will face the problem of plenty with too many cows and cattle heads to feed in absence of opportunities to sell them to slaughter houses. A cow gives milk between its three and 10 years of age, but its average lifespan is 20-25 years. Dairy farmers will be forced to continue feeding aged, unproductive animals, whose count will increase rapidly with time.

Exports Will Take a Hit

Considering the fact that meat, especially beef, exports is a growing market in India, the Centre's move is set to a create a huge dip in revenue generation from the animal trade market.

Media reports also stated that supply of rawhide to leather units account for around $5.5 billion trade.

The All India Meat and Livestock Exporters Association (AIMLEA) has claimed that the government's decision will eventually hit farmers. Considering all the facts, it can be implied that the ban will directly affect India's GDP.

Komal Nathani

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific

A firm believer of hard work and patience. Love to cover stories that hold a potential to change the momentum of business world. Currently, a part of all-women web team of Entrepreneur’s Asia Pacific edition to jig the wheel of business journalism!

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