New Delhi, Mar 20: On the day Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yogi Adityanath took oath as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, the Allahabad Nagar Nigam (ANN) authorities sealed two slaughter houses, which were operating despite a ban order. While the BJP promised in its election manifesto that it will close down all ‘illegal’ abattoirs in Uttar Pradesh if it comes to power, party president Amit Shah vowed to shut all slaughterhouses in the state. With Yogi Adityanath at the post of chief minister, many believe the BJP will surely fulfil the promise it made regarding slaughter houses. But the question arise on what cost.

If Yogi Adityanath led Uttar Pradesh government decides to shut all slaughterhouses in the state, it will not only increase the unemployment, but also impact the economy of the state. According to a report of the Indian Express, a complete ban on slaughter houses, Uttar Pradesh could lose Rs 11,350 crore a year in terms of revenue from exports. (ALSO READ: Yogi Adityanath discusses slaughter houses and law & order on day 1, asks officials to implement BJP’s ‘sankalp patra’; 10 developments)

Uttar Pradesh is the country’s largest meat processing state. The state has the 38 of the 72 government approved abattoirs-cum-meat processing plants/standalone abattoirs in India. Out of the 38 slaughterhouses — 7 in Aligarh, 5 in Ghaziabad — 37 produce and export buffalo meat. According to the data of the Uttar Pradesh’s Animal Husbandry department, the state produced 7,515.14 lakh kg of buffalo meat, 1171.65 lakh kg of goat meat, 230.99 lakh kg of sheep meat, and 1410.32 lakh kg of pig meat in 2014-15.

Despite the law that permits slaughter of only buffaloes/bulls that are over the age of 15 and unfit for breeding, Uttar Pradesh has seen significant rise in production of meat. According to the data of the Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries department, Uttar Pradesh had retained the top position in meat production for five consecutive years between 2008 and 2013.

According to media reports, the BJP government is likely to promulgate an ordinance banning slaughterhouses in Uttar Pradesh. It remains to be seen whether the government will close down only those in the buffalo meat business or impose complete ban. Had the ban on slaughterhouses been imposed by Samajwadi Party led government, it would have caused the loss of at least Rs 11,350 crore. The ban will put the future of thousands of people associate with this business at risk.