After imposing a ban on the slaughter of bulls and calves in addition to cows, the Maharashtra government has announced another initiative to protect them. Revenue and agriculture minister Eknath Khadse on Friday announced a cow and bull adoption programme called ‘Gokul Yojana’, which aims to look after ailing cattle.
The department, Khadse said, has identified a 200-acre land at Aarey Colony, which the state will use as an adoption centre initially.
The state plans to involve private organisations, apart from setting up its own centres. It has sent a Rs 90-crore proposal to the Centre for implementing this scheme, which will be used to provide fodder, water and medical services to the animals.
Following the beef ban that has come into force, questions were raised on what would happen to discarded and ailing cattle that is sent to abattoirs by farmers.
Khadse was replying to a question raised by Congress legislator Amin Patel in the state Assembly, on what would happen to the animals.
“Before the ban was put into place, we already anticipated this problem and have moved towards framing this scheme. Many people from the Jain community have approached us to take up adoption centres. Similarly, we are ready to lease land for 15-30 years for this purpose where they could look after 1,000 animals,” Khadse said. He said as an interim measure, the government will set up a temporary adoption centre to be built on 200 acres of Aarey land.