Amid allegations by some Hindu groups that the use of the term “halal” gives an unfair business advantage to Muslim exporters, a government body on Monday removed the word “halal” from its ‘Red Meat Manual’.
According to a report by the Indian Express, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) clarified that there was no condition on the part of the Indian government regarding halal meat. “It is a requirement by a majority of the importing countries/Importers. Halal Certification agencies are accredited directly by respective importing countries,” it said. The APEDA further added that no government agency has any role in this.
The earlier Red Meat Manual of the APEDA said “animals are slaughtered strictly according to halal method to meet the requirement of Islamic countries”, while the revised version now says “the animals are slaughtered according to the requirement of importing country/importer”.
As per the report, the APEDA also deleted these 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.”
A debate has been raging with a section of Hindu groups complaining that the use of the word in the ‘Red Meat Manual’ implied that APEDA was making it mandatory for exporters to buy and acquire only “halal-certified” meat. A section of Hindu groups argued that apart from Islamic countries in West Asia, India also exports meat to countries such as China and Sri Lanka, where “halal” certification is not needed.