Illegal camel meat trade rampant

Though camel slaughter is banned in India, slaughter and export of camel meat is thriving in many districts of Uttar Pradesh. According to unofficial estimates, more than 5,000 to 7,000 camels are transported from Rajasthan to abattoirs in western Uttar Pradesh every month. The meat is then exported to a number of countries in western Asian countries.

According to provisional figures of a livestock census, which was conducted by a Pali-based voluntary organisation Lokhit Pashu Palak Sansthan (LPPS), Rajasthan's camel population in 2003 was 498,000 compared to 668,237 in 1997. This is a drop of 24 per cent in six years. In Novermber 2003, as per the livestock census by LPPS, nearly 50 per cent of the camels sold for slaughter at the Pushkar fair were females. If this continues, camels will vanish in a decade.