INDIA - The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) of India has embarked on an ambitious plan to build cow shelters across the country to house over 5 million of its stray cattle, writes Basudev Mahapatra.
A huge population of older cattle can be seen on the streets of India because cows and oxen are believed to be holy animals by majority Hindus of the country who neither kill nor allow anybody to kill these animals even after they become non-productive and economically irrelevant.
While the oxen, in most cases, are not domesticated, the cows are abandoned by the farmers to roam around once they stop giving milk.
India has a total of 5,287,767 stray cattle, mostly in villages and but some in urban areas, according to the Livestock Census 2012.
According to the recent plan, this wandering cattle population shall be taken care of in the shelters to come up and they won’t have to end up eating plastics and garbage.
For early realisation of the plan, MoEF has asked the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), a statutory body advising the government on animal welfare and laws, to make the financial assessment for setting up the cow shelters.
In the meantime, the state government of Haryana has also announced to start a similar project and create 40 cow sanctuaries to take care of about 117,000 stray cattle roaming in the state, as the Animal Husbandry and Dairying Minister of the state told the assembly of legislatures.
TheCattleSite News Desk