S. K. Mittal termed it unfortunate for the State to be in the forefront in cow slaughter in spite of having enviable native breeds such as Punganur and Ongole.
Andhra Pradesh is one of the highest States contributing to cattle slaughter. The official figure pegs the beef production at a whopping 9.5 lakh metric tonnes a year, which is a cause for concern, says S. K. Mittal, director, Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and convenor of the union government’s Jallikattu Inspection Committee.
Addressing the media in Tirupati on December 21, he called Andhra Pradesh as a leading contributor to Al Kabeer abattoir near Hyderabad, followed by Karnataka and Telangana. “At least 80 lakh to 1 crore heads of cattle are slaughtered every year to generate 9.5 lakh metric tonnes of beef”, he said. He termed it unfortunate for the State to be in the forefront in cow slaughter in spite of having enviable native breeds such as Punganur and Ongole. “The State government has made promising steps by providing insurance for dead cows, but what about the living ones?”, he wondered.
Dr. Mittal found the shrinking grazing lands in and around villages as a disadvantage to meeting the growing fodder needs. Citing Supreme Court directive, he urged the State government to get the encroachments removed on a war footing. Similarly, he suggested that Goshalas be allowed to use such grazing lands in their vicinity to feed their cattle. Speaking on the centre’s initiatives on cow protection front, he said Goshalas could get support of up to ₹25 lakh for construction, ₹7 lakh towards veterinary ambulances, besides regular grants, funds for Animal Birth Control (ABC) of dogs, support for development of native breeds under Gokul mission and so on.
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