When I search Google, most results indicate that beef, as well as slaughtering cows, is illegal in Tamil Nadu, India.

However, I'm in Chennai right now and I'm seeing beef on the menu.

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What's going on here? Is the information I found wrong, or is this some sort of buffalo vs. cow thing?

1 Answer 1


Per this report (2013) from the National Commission on Cattle, while Tamil Nadu has strict controls on when cattle slaughter is allowed (basically, only sick or old animals), there is no ban per se on eating beef.

  • 4
    Also, Beef is very popular dish for Kerala, the neighboring state. So, its very likely that you will get beef (even if its not marked as such) everywhere with significant Keralite population. :) Commented Mar 6 at 7:04
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    I have seen things marked as "Meat curry", "Meat biriyani" such. Its most likely beef. Commented Mar 6 at 7:05
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    On TV someone explained that cows are not eaten but bulls are. Someone else in a different program said that waterbuffalo is often used instead of beef (but it should be mentioned on the menu if so.)
    – Willeke
    Commented Mar 6 at 9:14
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    @vsz Not sure, but the report linked above does not mention imports. Commented Mar 7 at 10:19
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    @vsz Yes, not too long ago there were customs inspections at Indian state borders even for personal cars etc. Commented Mar 7 at 19:35

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