Following Objections of Hindu Groups, Meat Export Authority Removes ‘Halal’ from Manual

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Exporters say the change has little or no implications on the ground, but admit it carries symbolic significance

Team Clarion 

NEW DELHI — The government authority that regulates export of meat and agri-products from India has removed “Halal” word from the manual for red meat, a decision taken after objection from the Hindu groups who alleged the tag gives undue advantage to Muslim exporters.

According to a report published in the Hindustan Times, the older manual said, “…The animals are slaughtered strictly according to the ‘Halal’ method to meet the requirement of Islamic countries”. The revised version says, “The animals are slaughtered to the requirement of importing country/importer.”

“Halal” is a word used for meat slaughtered according to Islamic guidelines that involves reciting the name of Allah.

Exporters pointed out that certification of meat was done in view of the requirements of the importing country, as mentioned in the revised manual as well, and that the removal of the term Halal had little or no implications on the ground, but admitted that it carried symbolic significance, the report said.

The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) have said that there was no condition on part of the Indian government regarding Halal meat and that the animals were slaughtered according to Isalmic guidelines strictly to meet the demands of the importing country, the Indian Express reported. “Halal Certification agencies are accredited directly by respective importing countries. No government agency has any role in this,” it said.

It has also deleted the following lines: “The animals are slaughtered by Halal system under strict vigilance of (a) recognised and registered Islamic body as per the tenets of Islamic Shariyat. The certificate for Halal is issued by the representative of  registered Islamic body under whose supervision the slaughter is conducted in order to meet the requirement of (the) importing country.”

Of late the Hindutva groups have been demanding ending the Halal certification allotted to meat shops run by Muslims.

Last month the South Delhi Municipal Corporation passed a proposal which sought restaurants and meat shops to prominently display whether they sell Halal or Jhatka meats.

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