Halal certificate no longer necessary for Indian meat exports

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Move may end domination of Muslims in Indian meat sector, say analysts

By Shuriah Niazi

NEW DELHI: Under new rules, meat from India no longer needs to be certified halal – following Muslim rules – before it is exported.

The recently changed requirement is expected to end the domination of India’s minority Muslim community on the meat business, as authorities bowed to a longstanding demand of right-wing outfits and some NGOs who argued that a secular country like India should not endorse strict religious customs as demanded by Islamic clerics and bodies.

Halal rules include an Islamic-approved way of slaughtering animals, while Jhatka is a non-Islamic method.

Change in official manual

India’s Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, removed “halal” from its manual on red meat. The authority is a top government body responsible for promoting farm product exports.

“All animals are slaughtered according to the Islamic Shari’a under the supervision of Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Hind. The certificate is given by the Jamiat” group of Islamic scholars, said the authority’s previous manual.

But the new manual states: “The animals are slaughtered according to the requirement of the importing country.”

The change was made on Jan. 5. Until then, halal was an important condition for exporting meat, and Indian exporters could export only halal meat to meet the requirements of majority-Muslim countries.

The APEDA said the government does not require only halal meat be exported. However, it is a prerequisite of many countries that import meat.

The authority explained that halal certification agencies are approved directly by the respective importing nations and that no government agency plays a role in issuing halal certificates.

End of Muslim domination

The changes in the manual are to ensure the wording is not misinterpreted to mean the Indian government authorizes the halal method in any way. The move is likely to end the domination of the Muslim community on the meat export business, as they slaughter animals using the halal method.

But with the requirement for halal meat removed, non-Muslim communities are likely to grab a big chunk of the market.

In fact, many NGOs and right-wing groups have opposed the halal requirement, saying that doing so would let non-Muslims enter the sector.

A Christian group in the southern state of Kerala recently launched a campaign ahead of Christmas to reject halal meat and products, saying they cannot consume food that does not follow their religious beliefs.

Halal ‘forced on everyone’

According to Halal Niyantran Manch, or the Halal Control Forum, a NGO opposing the halal requirement, earlier provisions made it mandatory for exporters to export only halal meat. Harinder Sikka from the group said it has supported exports of all types of meat, not just halal.

According to Sikka, halal is being forced on all. “Halal meat is supplied to five-star hotels as well as small restaurants, roadside eateries, train pantries, and to the armed forces,” he said.

Sikka told Anadolu Agency that traders selling jhatka meat were at a big disadvantage due to halal requirements.

Pawan Kumar from the same group said the matter is not limited to certifying meat as halal.

“Now it has become fashionable to certify Bhujia [snack food], cement, cosmetics and other food items as halal as well. They have to sell their products in Islamic countries. They can package them separately. We don’t mind. But there’s no point in India in certifying Bhujia packets or soap as halal,” he said.

Opposition from right-wing groups

Apart from the Halal Niyantran Manch, Hindu groups have demanded the removal of halal requirements. Powerful Hindu outfit Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) also opposes exporting only halal meat.

The VHP said India does its largest meat exports to China, where it makes no difference if the meat is halal or jhatka.

According to the VHP’s Vinod Bansal, consuming halal meat is forbidden in Sikhism. People of the Sikh faith can consume only jhatka meat.

“The ideology of a particular religion should not be imposed on others,” he told Anadolu Agency.

“We’re not challenging the rights of those who consume halal meat. But why is it being forced on those who do not want to eat halal? We oppose this, as India is a secular nation and everyone should have equal rights to do business.”

Jhatka Meat Vyapari Sangh, an association of meat traders selling jhatka meat, is also opposed to a halal meat requirement.

According to the group, halal meat traders have taken over the sector although a large number of Sikhs and other non-Muslims want to eat just jhatka meat.

The organization said fair business is possible only when a certificate of jhatka along with halal is given. That is, the meat business should not remain confined to only halal meat, and other communities should also be permitted, said the group.

–AA

9 thoughts on “Halal certificate no longer necessary for Indian meat exports

    1. first correct your self, cow is not godess Lakshmi as you say. learn to respect others religion.
      why should impose halal meat on everyone.
      sikhs don’t eat halal meat. you can say the decision was made by right wing government which is anti Muslim in nature no doubt. I am not a Muslim ,why should I eat halal meat

      1. It is matter of busness not faith. Now Arabian state in Gulf are under pressure. If they ask india again start Halal certification. No religion only business and vote bank politics

    1. Absolutely,
      Money and riches (lakshmi) is God for worldly greedy people. So they earn and eat everything–and do not care for halaal or haraam.
      Otherwise, how can all top 5 Indian billionnaire exporters of Beef be Hindus closely linked to the RSS and the BJP?
      So this pink revolution export money is ”kosher” for these ”nationalists” who kill hundreds Muslims in India over false allegations of consuming beef?

      Amalytically, How can a human being (male or female) be God Almighty ever, and how many Almighties ?

      And these Almighties stay in the belly of the Holy Cow; and NOT above the Infinite Universe like the immortal Supreme Being Almighty Allah does on his majestic throne which is infinite times bigger than the Infinite Creation of the Universe itself (as mentioned in the divine Quraan and saheeh Hadiths)!

      Mind-boggling, bcos our mortal intelligence is limited, read EINSTEIN’s statements about Universe, Supreme Intelligence—and rise above these petty Gobar-science and Gobar-faith, which try to hoodwink the gullible masses by the crafty zionist Brahmins who created these 33 crore imaginary Gods(some with many heads and brains) and Holy Cow (copied from the golden cow of the devil Samiri mentioned in the Surah Baqara in the Quraan, which he tried unsuccessfully to misguide the tribe of Prophets Moses and Harron a.s)

      May Allah make ALL of us (Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs and Christians)into truthful, Fair (justice ensuring), rational Human Beings first—live and let live as human beings.
      As Religion is a private and personal matter ( not everyone can reach proper divine understanding and spirituality as taught by the noble 1.24 lakh Prophets sent to all human nations) and so extreme religion (like Hindu Rashtra and its brethren Zionists and ISIS) should not be allowed in good Politics or good Governance to spread hate and curb minority-rights in an educated, multi-cultural & so-called democratic society.

      Hence Uniform Civil Code in personal religious affairs is stupid and unwise, otherwise millions of Hindus in top positions in Dubai and Gulf, will be forcibly circumcised and made to pray namaz 5 times daily—which Alhamdulillah the Gulf states do not do at all— due to better understanding of human freedom in personal space and difference from a progressive secular society.
      ” No compulsion in religion” (Holy Quraan)

  1. It is matter of busness not faith. Now Arabian state in Gulf are under pressure. If they ask india again start Halal certification. No religion only business and vote bank politics

  2. As a medical doctor I would recommend consuming only Halal meat for many medical reasons . Jatka meat which is devoid of blood letting may make you sick…. moreover Neurological death thought to be less painful makes meat physiologically unfit for human ( or animal ) consumption as compared to Halal meat which is prepared by simple asphyxia and blood letting and thus all physiological properties are retained thus also making Halal meat more tasty and palatable to our tasty buds . In animal species also hunting and killing is as natural as Halal method . So , avoid eating Jhatka meat which is physiologically dead meat due to Neurological death of animal . Avoid eating spinal cord also . Those whose idea is that Halal being cruelty then better take idea of being vegetarian so that many animal lives could be saved . Jai Bharat.

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