In a victory for bodies working for cow protection, the Planning Commission has withdrawn the controversial recommendation by a working group on animal husbandry and dairying for the 12th Five Year Plan to lift ban on beef exports from India.
In November 2011, the working group chaired by VK Taneja, vice-chancellor of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Science University, Ludhiana, and experts, scientists, NGOs, senior government functionaries and other stakeholders, had recommended allowing beef exports by revising the EXIM policy.
TOI reported about this on February 23, leading to protests by United Nations (UN) affiliated International Organisation for Animal Protection (OIPA) in India along with People for Animals (PFA), Haryana, which was the first to petition the Planning Commission to withdraw the recommendation.
"If accepted, the decision could have led to large-scale slaughter of cows," said Naresh Kadyan, India's OIPA representative.
Kannubhai Savadia, founder of Sukrut Nirman Charitable Trust, Nagpur, too had registered his strong protest with the plan panel. Buckling under pressure from activists, on March 16, the Planning Commission has admitted the recommendation was an inadvertent clerical mistake and it should be considered as deleted. "The necessary change has been made to the report," the plan panel said.
It added, "The issue involves cultural sensitivity of millions of people. Hence, it cannot be viewed purely on a 'commodity mode'. The Planning Commission has no intention of making any recommendation to change the present position."
"So far as trade in beef is concerned, it is well known that there is a ban on beef exports for decades along with ban on beef imports. It's a wise move," said Sukanya Kadyan, OIPA's event director in India.
Based on the TOI report, media adviser of OIPA Abhishek Kadyan had on February 27 filed a protest petition with Surinder Singh, adviser, Planning Commission, demanding scrapping of the recomme