54,000 abandoned cows adopted in UP under the CM Destitute Cow Participation Scheme
Around 54,000 abandoned cows were lucky enough to get new homes in Uttar Pradesh with more than 26,500 farmers having come forward to adopt them under the Chief Minister Destitute Cow Participation Scheme during the last financial year that ended on March 31.Updated: Apr 30, 2020, 00:43 IST
Around 54,000 abandoned cows were lucky enough to get new homes in Uttar Pradesh with more than 26,500 farmers having come forward to adopt them under the Chief Minister Destitute Cow Participation Scheme during the last financial year that ended on March 31.
Male bovines were not that lucky. As there were few takers for them, they were forced to make do with the government-run (some of them poorly managed) cow shelters where nearly 5 lakh abandoned cattle have been housed all over the state for around a year and a half.
“As many as 26,586 farmers adopted 53,606 abandoned cows from the makeshift cattle shelters set up in all 75 districts in the state till March 31,” said principal secretary, animal husbandry, Bhuvnesh Kumar, adding, “The government provides a finance assistance of Rs 900 per cattle per month to all such farmers under the Chief Minister Destitute Cow Participation Scheme.”
According to Kumar, each such cattlehead was ear-tagged before being given for adoption for subsequent follow-up and monitoring.
The district-wise data on adoption shows that cows were adopted in all 75 districts, though in varying numbers. Lalitpur, where 4,747 cows were adopted by 1,686 farmers topped the chart followed by Hamirpur where 2,875 cows were adopted by 1,477 farmers. Hardoi and Lucknow came third and fourth with adoption of 2,850 and 2,537 cows respectively.
Rampur district figured at the bottom with adoption of merely 11 cows by six farmers. Gorakhpur and JP Nagar where 98 and 103 cows were adopted by 42 and 66 farmers respectively were on the second and third position from the bottom respectively.
However, farmers mostly picked only female bovines for adoption and they were further selective about their choice. “Farmers mostly pick heifers (young cows that have not yet had a calf), milch cows or pregnant cows,” said director, animal husbandry, UB Singh.
Pointing out the reason why the target of adoption of one lakh cattle could achieve only the halfway mark, Singh said, “The number of male bovines at the cow shelters far exceeded the female bovines on the one hand and farmers were selective in choosing.”
After the cow shelters started overflowing, the Yogi Adityanath government launched the Chief Minister Destitute Cows Participation Scheme in August last year offering willing farmers to take stray of their choice against an affidavit that they would look after them properly at home.
The government ordered catching of stray cattle and putting them in cow shelters early in 2019 after the ban on illegal slaughter houses spiked the population of stray cattle that started destroying crops in villages and causing accidents in cities, leading to a public resentment and agitations in various parts of the state.
Singh said adoption of cows was a big service. “We appeal to people to volunteer to take cattle from the cow shelters and take care of them at home. The government already gives Rs 30 per animal per day for fodder,” he said.