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Holy Cow

Water buffalo are common in many parts of the world.

According to the U.S.D.A., India became the top exporter of beef in the world in 2014.  However, Hinduism holds the cow as a revered creature.  The catch has been that the water buffalo, a close relative of beef cattle, have not been part of a ban on the slaughter and export of beef in India until recently.  Prime Minister Narenda Modi's government recently banned the export of meat from water buffalo as well as enforcing laws concerning slaughter of beef cattle.

India's ban on the export of water buffalo meat will probably affect their status as the top beef exporter.  The quality of buffalo meat is not high, because the buffalo are purchased from livestock markets around India after they have spent most of their life as work animals.  The meat goes to developing countries, rather than competing with high quality meat produced by U.S. producers. 

U.S. beef producers may see small increase in demand for their beef because of India's ban on beef exports, but only time will tell.