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Not only plastic, stray cows eat many things injurious to health: Gaushala caretakers

Stray cows consume highly toxic vermillion, copper coins and even iron nails which cause serious injuries to their intestines.

stray cows At a garbage dump in Ludhiana on Friday. (Source: express photo by Gurmeet Singh)

Though Union Environment Minister Parkash Javadekar has said that every dead cow contains not less than 30 kgs of plastic, much more is consumed by cows apart from plastic. Stray cows consume highly toxic vermillion, chunri, copper coins and even iron nails which cause serious injuries to their intestines, esophagus, and lead to their death.

Dr Krishan Murari, a trustee who heads the medical wing at Govind Gaudham Gaushala, says, “When we pick sick cows from roadside, we get them operated on. Apart from more than 15-20 kgs of plastic which comes out like stony hard material, we take out vermilion, copper coins which cause injuries to the cow. Vermilion contains lead oxide and it is highly toxic. So much so, intestines of few cows were punctured as they had consumed iron nails as well. We do keep such things separately so as to show devotees what kind of things are consumed by cows which are thrown by human beings as per instructions of astrologers.”

Dr Murari says, “A number of residents keep coins, iron nails, vermilion, chunri etc to improve the condition of their stars as per astrologers’ advice on roadside along with some eatables; at times these things are embedded in the kneaded flour which cows normally eat. The kneaded flour also sticks at times to the walls of esophagus which causes choking and results in death of the cow within seconds.”


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Manohar Verma, a trustee of this gaushala, says, “We are taking care of 1,800 cows, we don’t allow use of any plastic bag or any other material. But many cows die whom we pick from roadside during treatment. People need to realise that in order to improve their stars, they are causing harm to the holy animal.”

Pardeep Dhall, from the management of Geeta Mandir, says, “We often send mustard oil which is accumulated in Shani Mandir to gaushalas so that it can help cows take plastic bags out along with cow dung.”

Dr Murari says, “Mustard oil can help only in those cows which have consumed 1-2 kg of plastic bags. Otherwise, operation is the only solution.”

Dr Murari says the residents need to see that in the name of doing good, they are actually killing innocent animals. Moreover, they need to shun plastic bags as these are consumed along with garbage by stray cattle.


Though the Punjab government had imposed a ban on plastic bags less than 30 microns, the use of such bags is going unchecked.

‘1.6 lakh stray cows roam on Punjab roads’

In the entire state, a total of 1.6 lakh stray cows are roaming on roads and out of them, 137 had died in different accidents last year. This was stated by Keemti Bhagat, chairman, Punjab Gau Sewa Commission, who was in Ludhiana on Friday. He stated that 22 gaushalas would be set up across the state. For this, Rs 30 crore had already been released by the state government. Even the Centre had kept Rs 3,000 crore for the upkeep of stray animals; out of this, Rs 25 crore had been sent to Punjab, he added. Bhagat said that the Punjab government had also released Rs 57 lakh for proper drinking water supply in existing gaushalas. He expressed concern over the encroached land meant for cow grazing. This land needed to be freed, he added.      ens

First published on: 04-04-2015 at 12:47:20 am
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