India is poised to become the world’s third largest beef exporter this year, eclipsing Australia, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The reason? The USDA also counts water buffalo meat as beef and India is shipping plenty of that, along with cull dairy cows. The market for this “beef” produced in predominately Hindu India, where cows remain sacred, is halal demand in devoutly Islamic countries across east Asia. Russia and Vietnam are buying also.
According to Food and Beverage Magazine, there are more than 4,000 municipal abattoirs in India and 30 state-of-the-art slaughter plants. Overseas shipments have tripled in recent years.