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India Polls: Front-runner could clamp down on beef exports

Published on May 11, 2014 9:19 AM

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI (REUTERS) - India's main Hindu nationalist party says it plans to clamp down on beef exports if it takes power after general elections that end on Monday, threatening supplies from one of the world's biggest shippers of the meat.

Surprisingly in a country where so many view cows as sacred, India has been poised to become the No.1 beef exporting nation, supplying markets such as Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Egypt.

Although most of that is from buffalo, which are not worshipped by Hindus, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wants to curb exports that jar with the country's vegetarian tradition and to bolster the availability of animals reared to work on farms and for their milk.

A drop in Indian exports could buoy global cattle prices that have come off record peaks this year after the US herd was pegged at its lowest in over six decades.

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