Following the death of hundreds of cows in the past few weeks at a government-run cowshed in Jaipur, considered to be the largest in the state, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) has issued a statement stating that most of the cows which died were already unwell and suffering from malnutrition. The statement also said that the cows were recently brought at the cowshed.
Kunji Lal Meena, secretary for the Animal Husbandry and Gaupalan department, said that there are over 8,000 cows at the Hingonia Gaushala which are taken care of by a team of 14 veterinarians, 24 livestock assistants, and about 200 other staff. He claimed that there was no lapse in the upkeep of the cowshed and that the ones which died were already old and suffering from poor health. Sources, however, told The Indian Express, that a strike by the staff over a salary dispute, about two weeks ago, worsened the condition at the cowshed.
As per Meena, a special campaign was organised to catch stray cattle, wherein 1,066 in June and as many as 1,288 bovines were caught between July 15 and 31. He said that many of those caught were unwell. Meena, however, conceded that following rainfall for the past several days, there was slush in the cowshed but that too was being constantly cleaned to prevent any outbreak of diseases.
Meena also shot down reports of a dearth of fodder at the cowshed, saying that fodder stock is always available to last about a week.
The CMO also asserted that it was doing everything that it could to save the animals at the cowshed, with Rs 10.78 crore being spent in financial year 2015-16, compared to Rs 3.59 crore in 2011-12. Additionally, for construction of sheds and other infrastructure, Rs 7.59 crore was spent in 2014-15 and Rs 2.16 crore in 2015-15 at the cowshed, it said.