The Delhi government has been asked to report to the National Green Tribunal about the population of indigenous breeds of cows in the city, after a plea alleged that there was a “looming threat of extinction of indigenous breeds of cattle” in the country.
“Let the environment secretary file a compliance report within two weeks... Rejoinder, if any, be filed within two weeks thereafter,” said the bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, while expressing concerns about the allegedly declining numbers of indigenous cows in the country.
The directive has come in the wake of a plea filed by lawyer Ashwini Kumar, which alleged that there was a “looming threat of extinction of indigenous breeds of cattle” in the country. They have moved the tribunal seeking directions to the Centre, which would ensure that cattle are not slaughtered in India.
The NGT had issued notices to the agriculture ministry in the past based on the plea, which also seeks to ban the slaughter of Indian breeds of cattle across the nation.
The lawyer, Kumar, had claimed that there was a discerning decrease in the number of native cows in India, and alleged that these indigenous breeds were being replaced by imported breeds from the US, Europe and Australi, which are cross bred and are considered exotic.
“Even developed countries are taking steps to preserve diversity in livestock and taking substantial steps to preserve and conserve their domestic livestock species,” the plea had said, while urging India to do the same.
He had held government authorities at all levels, including the centre and state, responsible for the alleged decline in numbers. He alleged complacency when claiming that they were silent spectators to the ‘extinction.’
The matter has been posted for next hearing on April 25.
(With inputs from PTI)