Cows in Jharkhand will soon have 12-digit unique ID numbers on the lines of ‘Aadhaar’ to counter illegal trade, track their breed, location, breeding cycle and milk production, said animal husbandry department officials on Friday.
Several states have banned cattle slaughter and consumption of beef. To that effect, state administrations have begun using various ways to safeguard cattle. Earlier, Haryana government decided to introduce a “special identification tags” with unique identification numbers for Haryana cows, an indigenous breed in the state. Maharahstra’s Malegaon police had asked for a photograph of cow and bullock from their owners for reference.
In Jharkhand, there are around 42 lakh head of cattle (fertile), and 70% of them are cow. The ID card will be fixed as a tag around its ears and the owners will get a booklet where they would fill cow data every day.
After cows, the exercise would be extended to buffaloes to improve milk yield in indigenous breed and monitor their health, officials said. “The agriculture department of the government of India has issued a directive to initiate the programme in Jharkhand, which is likely to take off from December,” said Dr Govind Prasad, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Jharkhand State Implement Agency for Cattle and Buffalo (JSIACB), a wing of the government of India.
Prasad said the unique ID would help Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, constituted in each districts of Jharkhand, to monitor and check illegal trade of cattle in their respective districts. Tracking of breeding programme is also one of the aims of the project.
Indigenous cattle produce less milk, one or two kg a day. “Breed improvement is required through cross breeding of high-milk producing cattle like jersey cattle,” said Prasad.
Two agencies have been carrying out breed improvement programme through artificial insemination in 1440 centres across Jharkhand. “But, we have no specific identity of the animals that have gone through the artificial insemination. Besides, there is also chance of duplication, which UID number will prevent,” he said.
Owners will get a booklet where they would fill cows’ ‘data’ every day.
“Owners will also have to fill a questionnaire, which will comprise details of owners like address, phone numbers. The details will be fed on National Dairy Development Board’s database with special identification tags of cattle such as their photographs, age, race, complexion and body structure,” Govind said.