Several cows housed at the Pinjrapole cowshed on Bullandpur road at Bullandpur village have died in the past few days, due to alleged neglect.
Sources alleged that 200 cows, 293 bulls, 190 male calves and 77 female calves have been housed in the shelter, spread over 20 kanal, and most of the animals were not being provided the required amount of fodder.
Visiting the shelter on Monday, an HT team noticed that nearly 20 cows were kept in the shed built for weaker cows.
One of the cows appeared to be dead, but caretaker Pawan Kumar claimed that it was still alive.
The caretakers admitted that a chain pulley had been installed at the entrance of the shed, but was “rarely used” for lifting the weak cows.
Resident Deepak Jyoti, who had earlier filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana high court, following which the shelter management had been directed to improve conditions by December 6 or hand over the cowshed to the municipal corporation, alleged, “In the past one month, nearly 10 cows have died due to improper medical facilities. The cowsheds at Bullandpur and Tanda Road are being managed by the same committee, and both are poorly managed.”
However, Pawan claimed that animals were being provided good care, adding, “Two doctors from the animal husbandry department and one pharmacist deployed by the management regularly visit to take care of the animals and we have maintained records of all animals who need medical aid.”
The veterinary doctors, however, said that they had listed shortage of green foder as the reason of the cows' ill health in the daily visit report register lying in the office.
“I regularly write about this in the register, but it seems that the authorities concerned rarely read it, as no action has been taken yet,” alleged Dr narinder Kumar, a veterinarian from the animal husbandry department.
“Only proper diet can save those animals which are very weak or old. We are doing our best by providing medication,” he claimed.
Management committee president Ravi Kakkar denied the allegations of fodder shortage, claiming, “We have nearly 100 bags of cattle feed, and have stocked enough green and other types of fodder. We are providing a proper diet to the animals, but the number of animals is more than the capacity, as people abandon them when they stop giving milk. We are helpless, and trying to do the best we can in the available resources.”
The HT team saw that the animals were not tagged or numbered for identification, in spite of a team of nearly 20 caretakers to look after them. Other than the entrance, details of the animals were not written anywhere, and boxes painted outside each block for this purpose were empty.