Shillong: Meghalaya Minister in-charge of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department Sanbor Shullai said the state government has taken many steps to ensure hassle-free transportation of cattle from other states to Meghalaya and met with officials concerned to address any problems faced during transportation of cattle.

The minister was responding to multiple complaints received by the government from the butchers’ association in the state about traders facing challenges in transporting cattle

The minister shared that letters have also been written to Assam Chief Minister and the AH&Vet department, requesting their intervention and to facilitate hassle-free transport of cattle from other state to Meghalaya.

A series of meetings have also been held with officials of Assam to ensure that cattle traders do not face any problem while transporting cattle through Assam, he said.

Shullai informed that the department has started issuing transit permits for transporting cattle from outside the state. “DO letter was written to Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department, Assam, with a request to extend necessary help to our cattle traders who are processing cattle transit permits issued by Meghalaya,” clarified Shullai.

The minister shared that the department has so far received 53 applications for issue of Transit Permits an those have been granted. A total of 370 Transit Permits have been issued to genuine local traders, dairy cooperative societies and others. Besides, 173 TPs were renewed after expiry of validity. 

“The allegations regarding not getting transit permits is also baseless. The department has been granting TPs expeditiously to genuine traders. The department has not received any complaints from traders regarding any hurdle faced in Assam while transporting cattle,” clarified Shullai.

He also urged the traders to approach them for legal remedy if they face any problem, especially those who possess transit permits issued by Meghalaya, while transporting cattle.

On the price of beef going up, the minister said the price has gone up mostly due to illegal transportation of cattle as the BSF has seized cattle being transported illegally as recent as on May 2.

Principal Secretary, Veterinary & Animal Husbandry, GHP Raju said the TPs have been issued to traders so that they can bring the cattle from outside of Meghalaya to the state without any problem. 

He said despite these steps taken by the department, some of the smugglers are emboldened in illegally bringing cattle from outside, through Assam, and it is going unhindered. 

“We don’t know with whose help they are doing this. The traders have told us that the transit permit is just a piece of paper; of no use since the smugglers are smuggling cattle from outside and taking them to Bangladesh,” said Raju.

Due to this, he said, the department has been compelled to set up check posts at Umling entry point and officials are checking livestock vehicle to detect unauthorised transportation of cattle.

The department has notified livestock and poultry check posts at 6 entry points of the state for checking of vehicle carrying cattle and verification of transit permits in order to prevent unauthorised transportation of cattle as well as to detect smuggling of cattle. 

The check post are being set up Umling entry point, Jirang, Umkiang, Bajengdoba, Trikrikila, Aradong.

The principal secretary said they have received complaints about extortion at these check gates. “My message to the traders is to come forward and inform the department. We will initiate an FIR against these people,” said Raju.

The minister in-charge has also urged the traders to record a video when these people at the check gates are extorting money so that they have proof and can take necessary action.

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