India black markets in everything

A dirty little secret that most Indian politicians don't discuss is the thriving cow smuggling trade from their Hindu-majority nation, home of the sacred cow, to Muslim-majority Bangladesh, where many people enjoy a good steak. The trade is particularly robust around the Muslim festival of Eid.

India has outlawed cattle exports, but that hasn't prevented well-organized traffickers from herding millions of the unlucky beasts each year onto trains and trucks, injecting them with drugs on arrival so they walk faster, then forcing them to ford rivers and lumber into slaughterhouses immediately across the border.

The story is here.  Here is information on the price differential:

A $100 medium-size cow in Jharkhand is worth nearly double that in West Bengal and about $350 in Bangladesh. Indian residents along the border complain that the markup also attracts illegal migrants from Bangladesh, who steal cows at night and dart back home.

In a bid to stem the rustling, the Murshidabad local government announced a cow-licensing system in 2007. Cows were issued photo IDs.

In theory the "border is sealed" but in reality the guards are often corrupt and accept bribes to allow the illegal migration.


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