There is no shortage of beef in Goa, Minister for Animal Husbandry Mauvin Godinho said on Friday. However, he admitted that the state's only legal abattoir was not running to its full capacity.
Godinho was replying to a question from Congress MLA Francisco Silveira in the state legislative assembly.
The minister though said that Goa's only legal slaughterhouse, the Goa Meat Complex, was not able to slaughter adequate number of cattle, due to livestock transport permit issues in neighbouring states.
The Congress leader wanted to know whether regular and sufficient beef supply would be ensured by the government.
Godinho, a minister in the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition cabinet in his written reply said: "There is no reported shortage."
Meat traders in the state have warned of a beef shortage. They have accused vigilante groups of harassment during transportation of cattle to abattoirs, forcing them to import pre-slaughtered frozen beef from other regions for sale in Goa.
"The Goa Meat Complex Ltd. is fully operational. However, at present the traders are unable to bring animals for slaughter, as they are not getting Transport Permit Certificate to bring animals from outside the state," Godinho said.
On an average, 22 cattle are being slaughtered every day, he said, even as the abattoir has the capacity to slaughter 120 cattle per shift.
Official statistics say that nearly 30 to 50 tons of beef is consumed in the state every day, largely by visiting tourists and the minority communities in the state, who account for nearly a third of Goa's population.
In July 2016, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had assured the assembly that the government would ensure regular supply of beef to the state.