Licenced shops in the city are mandated to display the kind of meat they sell as per existing norms.

Meat traders in Delhi Thursday said the SDMC’s diktat on restaurants displaying the halal or jhatka meat distinction was divorced from the realities of the trade, as bigger clients focus more on price than on the method of slaughtering the animal. Licenced shops in the city, meanwhile, are mandated to display the kind of meat they sell as per existing norms.

Traders said over 80% of meat supplied in Delhi from the Ghazipur slaughterhouse is of the halal variety. In case of chicken, traders buy live poultry from the Ghazipur market. The Ghazipur slaughterhouse also has separate sections on halal and jhatka meat, they said.

“For goat and buffalo meat, there is a slaughterhouse with separate sections for halal and jhatka. Hoteliers and other traders usually do not differentiate between the two; for them, price matters. Also, Muslims differentiate more between halal and jhatka than Hindus. Muslim butchers naturally have expertise in the halal variety while Hindu khatiks are employed by many non-Muslim meat shops. But you will also find a large number of Muslim shops employing Hindu butchers. The nature of the trade is such,” said Irshad Qureshi, general secretary of the Delhi Meat Merchant Association.

Owner of a halal meat shop at INA market, who did want to be named, said the order “makes no sense” as it will have “no impact” on consumer behaviour. “MCD should crack down on illegal roadside meat sellers. These are unregulated, leading to revenue losses, and also carry the risk of spreading disease,” he said.

“In restaurants, most people don’t place special requests for halal or jhatka. A very small percentage does, it makes no economic sense for traders to source jhatka meat for them,” the owner said, adding that Hindu meat sellers in the market, selling mostly chicken, call him if a customer places a request for halal variety.

Chetan, owner of a standalone poultry meat stall in a DDA market, said they are not required to display halal or jhatka variants under the norms: “We sell jhatka meat. Customers who want halal meat have their own source.”

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