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Amreli (Gujarat) places limits on how much cattle can excrete
How much dung should a cow or buffalo excrete daily? For most, the question is irrelevant but not for the Congress-ruled Amreli municipality, which has clamped restrictions on defecation by cattle on public roads.
In a strange order issued on December 1, the civic body has set a daily lim it of 3 kg for an adult bovine and 1 kg for calves to ex crete dung that too at the specific spots earmarked for them. What's more, the cattle owners who fail to keep a check on quantity of their animals' excreta will be subjected to a humiliating punishment -they will be paraded on donkey in the town, the order stated.
Interestingly, a special flying squad will be constituted to measure the size and weight of the cattle dung.
“We have invited opinion of citizens in this regard and we will publish them in coming days,“ Alka Gondalia, president, Amreli municipality told TOI.
2018: organic farmers purchase it at milk prices
It’s not just milk, cow urine, too, is bringing in a revenue stream for dairy farmers in Rajasthan now.
The demand is such that the farmers are selling urine of high breed cows, such as Gir and Tharparkar, at Rs15-Rs30 per litre in the wholesale market, while a litre of cow milk fetches them a price between Rs22 and Rs25.
Kailesh Gujjar, from Jaipur, has started selling cow urine to people who are into organic farming. He says his earnings has increased by at least 30% after he started selling cow urine, apart from milk. Cow urine is used as an alternative to pesticides by organic farmers. People use cow urine for medicinal purposes and also in rituals.
Gujjar’s change in fortune comes with a price, though. He says he has to stay awake the entire night keeping a watch on the cows to ensure that urine doesn’t fall on the ground. “Cow is our mother, so I don’t mind staying awake at night,” says Gujjar, who has been selling milk since last two decades.
Om Prakash Meena, a milk trader, has started buying cow urine from a Gir cowshed in Jaipur. “I sell one litre of cow urine between Rs30 and Rs50. The demand for urine is high among organic farmers who use it as in alternate to pesticides. They sprinkle cow urine on crops to prevent from insect attacks,” says Meena. “Many people use cow urine in rituals like ‘yagna’ and ‘panchgavyam’ during ‘janaau’ ceremony,” he adds.
The government-run Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology in Udaipur uses 300-500 litres of cow urine every month in its organic farming project. The university has roped in dairy farmers across the state for supplying cow urine. Every month, the university purchases cow urine worth Rs15,000-Rs20,000. Vicechancellor Uma Shankar says, “Cow urine has the potential to provide additional income to farmers.” Rajasthan has around 8,58,960 cows in 2,562 state-run shelters, says Ota Ram Dewasi, Gopalan department minister in the Vasundhara Raje cabinet.
Gaurakshaks, laws, make owners set old cows loose/ 2018
Caught Between Gaurakshaks And Government Laws, Cattle Owners Say They Have No Option But To Set Old Cows Loose
The video is telling. A stout, serious looking man is on the phone inside a brick and cement building somewhere in UP. He seems both angry and petrified. In his small office room that has space barely for a table and some chairs, a cow has barged in. There’s another seeking entry. “Yeh kya ho raha hai, boliye toh,” he is heard pleading on the phone. A boy then makes an appearance, armed with a stick. “Daftar mein gai, bhains ghoos gaye,” he says, shooing the animals away.
Across India, the cows are coming home, but not to settle in for the night. Plagued by cattle protection vigilantes and an indiscriminate crackdown on both genuine traders as well as smugglers, villagers have started setting unwanted cattle loose, causing an explosion in their numbers around the countryside, towns and even cities. This in turn has provoked violence against the animals.
Protests by farmers in Aligarh last week have spread rapidly to neighbouring Mathura. On December 28, residents of several villages locked up stray cattle in schools and health centres, forcing children to go home. In Aligarh, farmers locked up 800 heads of cattle in 12 schools. The kids got a holiday.
“Stray cattle destroyed more than 20 bighas of my wheat crop last season, forcing me to plant potatoes this time. Now that, too, has been damaged,” said Abhimanyu Singh, a farmer from Makampur in Aligarh. Police cases were filed against Abhimanyu and other villagers for taking out protest marches on the issue.
Anirudh Kumar, another farmer, said, “The population of strays has increased after slaughterhouses were shut down. It was a good move to save the cows but no steps have been taken to provide shelters. The animals destroy our crops. We can’t even use blade wire fencing as it could harm the cows and then vigilantes would file FIRs against us, maybe beat us.”
People have been hurt in the melee. Parul Verma, a class XII student in Lakhimpur Kheri, was killed on September 1, 2017 when a stray bull hit her bicycle. She was on her way to school.
On October 29, 2018, Anil Pratap Singh, a cop, died after he was injured by a bull while on patrol.
In August, a farmer in Hamirpur suffered a heart attack when he learnt that his crop had been eaten up by stray cattle.
A farmer was shot dead by his neighbour in Basti, eastern UP, in July 2018 after a tussle over stray cattle.
Reprisals have been violent. In 2017, 15 cows and oxen, abandoned for being unproductive in the village of Karmana in Agra, were attacked with acid. On December 27, more than a dozen cows were found buried alive near a canal in Aligarh.
According to experts and local residents, ever since the UP government imposed a ban on illegal slaughterhouses and the Centre passed a bill regulating cow trade, the sale, purchase and transportation of cattle has stopped in the region, leading to a perceptible rise in their population.
Earlier, farmers would sell unproductive cattle to traders, who would then transport them to states where slaughter was allowed. Now, farmers simply abandon them.
Also, recent attacks by cow vigilantes on transporters ferrying cattle have forced many to give up the idea of buying cattle. “We fear taking our cows even to hospitals,” said Dharampal in Hathras.
“The number of stray cattle has definitely increased. We do not have exact figures, but according to the 2012 cattle census, there were two crore heads of cattle in Uttar Pradesh,” said animal husbandry minister SP Singh Baghel.
The problem has had political repercussions in other states, too. In Rajasthan, people’s anger against cow vigilantism is seen as one of the reasons BJP lost in Alwar and Bharatpur, two districts that were affected the most by vigilantism-related violence since 2014. BJP had won five out of seven assembly seats in Bharatpur in 2013 but could not win a single seat in the district this time. In Alwar, the saffron party has been reduced from nine seats in 2013 to two in 2018.
In Maharashtra, severe drought has compounded the problem for farmers. Unproductive cattle, called ‘bhakad’ in these parts, can neither be sold nor are farmers willing to spend money on their upkeep.
Sachin Wagh in drought-hit Marathwada wonders what can be done about the cattle “that have been entering our fields and rampaging for days”.
In Nashik, farmers estimated there were around 20,000 unproductive cattle which would shortly be let loose by their owners. “The drought has worsened our plight. I can’t feed even my useful cattle, leave alone old ones. The government must set up cattle camps, or provide fodder for us,” said Bharat Ahire, a dairy farmer.
Haryana’s famed dairy farmers say cow vigilantism has been a curse. Movement of cattle to annual fairs has been affected. The BJP government has tried to keep as many cattle as possible in shelters but the lack of basic facilities has resulted in deaths of animals.
Dayanand Poonia of All India Kisan Sabha said, “Vigilantes and new rules on transport of animals ensure most farmers can’t sell unproductive cattle. Controlling this problem with cattle sheds is not possible. The only way out is to resume cattle fairs. Please ask the government to make that possible.”