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By A Newsman

Kolkata, 28 March:  THE crackdown on abattoirs in Uttar Pradesh has hit the beef trade in Bengal badly even as there is no ban on cattle slaughter here.

This is because the beef traders in Bengal, especially those in Kolkata, import cattle from Uttar Pradesh and then send processed beef back to UP and other states where beef is consumed.

According to Mohammed Ali, president of Beef Dealers Association in Kolkata, ever since the crackdown in UP has started, transporters have stopped ferrying cattle from that state to Bengal. This has dried up the supply line.

Similarly, the supply of processed beef from Bengal to UP and other beef consuming states has come to a near halt as transporters are apprehensive of being harassed and attacked on the way.

A goods train from UP usually ferries round 250 cattle to Bengal in a trip; trucks ferry about 10 cattle each. Processed beef on the other hand is packed and sent from Bengal by trucks.

Ali said that the snap in both supply and demand lines have severely affected the business of beef traders in Kolkata, who are mostly based at Park Circus, Tiljala, Rajabazar, and Khidderpore in the city.

The Beef Dealers Association has plans to call on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on her return from north Bengal on 31 March to apprise her of the crisis in their livelihood and seek some remedy.