Lucknow: Grappling with the menace of stray cattle, the Uttar Pradesh government has told officials to barcode abandoned animals and set up temporary cow shelters at unused government buildings. The suggestions figure in a government order (GO) issued Monday, weeks after the Yogi Adityanath government announced a cess to set up shelters for cattle.
“Temporary cow shelters can be established at various cooperative institutions (such as mandi parishads and sugar mills) and at institutes of the Central government which have been lying closed,” it suggested. The order suggested that stray cattle should be barcoded and RFID-tagged “if possible”.
RFID involves using “radio frequency identification” technology to scan identity tags.
The order said fodder banks can also be set up at the temporary shelters. Farmers can deposit crop waste there. The 23-page order was issued by the state’s animal husbandry department to all senior government officials in Lucknow, district magistrates and district police chiefs. The order comes over three weeks after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on January 3 gave district magistrates about a week to ensure stray cattle across the state are shifted to fenced shelters. Those directions were issued during a video-conference with the DMs, amid reports that stray cattle were destroying crops.
Farmers in some parts of Uttar Pradesh had reportedly herded stray cattle into places like government schools, affecting their functioning. On the delay in implementation of the CM’s directive, a state animal husbandry department official had earlier told PTI that work is on at “war-footing.”
“All district magistrates are adopting innovative ways and means as per their local needs to implement the policy,” the official said. The state government had also decided to levy a 0.5 per cent cow welfare cess on some public sector undertakings to help construct and maintain more cow shelters. The latest order said basic veterinary services should be made available at the temporary shelters. It also mentioned arrangements for tranquilliser guns to ensure the safety of people.
Arrangements for the disposal of dead cattle have to be done according to municipal laws. In case of a suspicious cattle death, a post-mortem has to be conducted. The order said legal action should be taken against cattle owners if they abandon their animals. Under Yogi Adityanath, the BJP-led state government has come down strictly on cow slaughter and cow smuggling. Many illegal slaughterhouses too have been closed down.