90 percent of the population of Bangladesh are Muslims, and up to 3 million cows are needed to meet the consumption levels of the country. In order to meet the demand, Bangladeshi slaughterhouses need to import cows from other sources.
However, in neighboring India, cows are considered sacred in their Hindu practices. Many Indian states ban the slaughter of cows.
Source: Shaikh Azizur Rahman, “Cow smuggling … it’s how Bangladesh gets its beef,” Christian Science Monitor, January 26, 2013.