Fodder, water shortage leads to cow deaths at Bharatpur camp

At least 15 cows died at a transit camp for cattle in Bharatpur in December 2017 owing to lack of fodder and water, said staff and local residents

jaipur Updated: Jan 12, 2018 20:46 IST
Suresh Foujdar
Suresh Foujdar
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan news,Cow deaths,Fodder shortage
The cattle transit camp in Bharatpur does not have shades to protect bovines from cold.(HT Photo)

At least 15 cows died at a transit camp for cattle in Bharatpur in December 2017 owing to lack of fodder and water, said staff and local residents.

The municipal corporation, which runs the camp, admitted that cattle were dying, but didn’t quantify the deaths.

The animal husbandry department set up the transit camp in June last year near the exhibition ground to keep stray cattle caught in the city until they were transferred to cow shelters. The camp doesn’t have sheds to protect the cattle from cold. The civic body allegedly failed to make arrangements for fodder and water.

“All these measures together contributed to cattle deaths here. At least 15 cows died in December alone,” said Sundar Balmiki, a camp staff. “Some cattle died due to injuries they suffered in attacks by male bovines,” he said. Atar Singh, a local, said, “The cattle were dying due to lack of fodder and water.”

Deaths of over 500 cows in July-August in 2016 at Hingonia shelter in Jaipur had become a major political embarrassment for the state government, which has a ministry dedicated to cattle welfare.

Bharatpur municipal corporation’s deputy mayor Indrapal Singh blamed the civic body for deaths. “The corporation is only making money from the camp,” he alleged.

Municipal corporation commissioner Shiv Charan Meena said the camp was crowded because shelters were not willing to take the cattle. “It is the responsibility of the district administration to transfer the cattle from the camp to shelters.”

The civic body, he said, was to conduct the medical examination of the stray cattle picked up from city areas, and tag them for transfer to shelters. “The capacity of the camp is 15, but there are 200 bovines here. People leave their old cattle in the camp,” Meena said.

There are 13 registered cow shelters in the district. People who run the shelters said they had not received government grant for keeping the seized cattle for a year. Without wishing to be named, they said they have agreed to accept cattle from the camp.

The shelters get Rs 18 for a calf per month and Rs 38 for adult bovines.

Meena said corporation officials were talking to shelters to accept the cattle from the transit camp. “We even spoke to a shelter in Barsana (Mathura) in Uttar Pradesh, but they have not accepted our request yet,” he said.

First Published: Jan 12, 2018 20:44 IST