Madhya Pradesh, which has failed to get lions from Gujarat despite court orders, is now finding it difficult to get the Gir breed of cows from the neighbouring state.
Gujarat having refused to part with its lions, there is no else with whom MP can share its disappointment about lions because it was chosen as the only alternative home for the Asiatic breed. As far as Gir cows are concerned, Gujarat’s dealers have set high prices for buyers from every other state.
Gir cows sell in the range of Rs 60,000 but the deal between buyer and seller has been known to be struck much higher. Government permission is needed when a cow is to be transported from one state to another.
“We have fixed an annual quota of 200 Gir cows because the demand is very high from India and abroad. We have to take permission from the minister for sending even one Gir breed cow outside Gujarat,’’ Gujarat’s director for animal husbandry, Dr Hita Patel, told The Indian Express.
When states fail to get cows, they ask for frozen semen from Gujarat for artificial insemination. Gujarat parts with semen doses only after the local demand is met.
The Gir breed is sought after because the cows produce more milk, resist diseases and tolerate heat. A few cows produce as high as 5,000 litres per lactation cycle; the average ranges between 2,000 and 2,500 litres. “We never had difficulty sourcing the Gir breed but for the first time we have faced resistance from Gujarat,’’ said the managing director of MP Livestock and Poultry Development Corporation, Dr H B S Bhadoria.
After MP Animal Husbandry Minister Kusum Mehdele learnt about Gujarat’s “unofficial’’ reluctance, she asked the department to think of ways to become self-sufficient. Bhadoria said the state has about 100 purebred Gir cattle in two of its breeding farms and can think of becoming self-sufficient in three to four years after chalking out a proper plan.
None of the major native breeds of MP are milch breeds, which the state sources mainly from Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan.