The Madhya Pradesh government is considering a proposal to treat abandonment of cows as an offence and give district collectors the power to book owners who abandon their cows under the IPC.
“The existing law can penalise only the kasai (butcher) when caught and not the owners who abandon their cows once they stop giving milk,’’ Swami Akhileshwaranand, chairman of the Madhya Pradesh Cow Protection Board’s executive council, told The Indian Express.
The recommendation is part of a report submitted by a committee to the state government. Besides Akhileshwaranand, the committee including officials from animal husbandry, environment, cooperation and urban development, among other departments, was set up to recommend measures to conserve the cow.
The Indian Express had reported in November that the committee wanted a change in the nomenclature of the existing law — Madhya Pradesh Gauvansh Vadh Pratishedh Adhiniyam — to include “conservation”. The proposed nomenclature is Madhya Pradesh Gauvansh Sanrakshan (conservation) Evam Vadh Pratishedh Adhiniyam.
Animal Husbandry Minister Antarsingh Arya said the recommendations were under consideration but have not been sent to the state Cabinet.
Akhileshwaranand said that the MP government wants to follow the Uruguay model, where cattle is electronically tagged. He said the proposed penalties will have no meaning unless the owners who abandon their cattle are identified.
Managing director of the state Livestock and Poultry Development Corporation, Dr HBS Bhadoria, said the project to tag cattle was currently underway in four of the 51 districts on a pilot basis. He said not more than 4,000 cattle have been tagged so far in Agar, Shajapur, Khargone and Dhar districts. He said the corporation has received funds and equipment and the tagging will soon begin in the remaining districts.