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Delhi to clear street cattle?

Delhi’s largest civic body, the MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) has been given a court-mandated one week deadline for clearing the street cattle.
Delhi currently has a population of some 32,000 cattle of which many belong to the illegal dairies operating in the capital. Many of the cattle are privately owned by some of the poorest residents and are used as another form of income, and a lot of the cattle roaming the streets are stray and have no economic use.

The MCD has had the task of clearing the city of stray cattle for the past two years and claims too have removed 30,000 from various parts of Delhi. Officials say they are capturing 50-80 cattle on an average day and keeping them in a cattle pond located at Paprola village.

However many people doubt that the MCD will succeed as the cattle problem has been around for many years without a solution being found. In fact, a large number of cattle still wander on roads around the capital, causing accidents and slowing the traffic.

There is also the considerable problem of where to keep the 32,000 stray cattle once they have been removed from the streets. The current policy is too auction off the cattle, but only around 40-50% are sold and the remainder are sent to one of the six goshalas (Cattle homes) where they will remain.

This is where MCD’s policy is flawed, as the six goshalas are currently not large enough or capable of handling this large influx of cattle, especially when they are considered by many to be overcrowded all ready. This is leading to poor cattle treatment, with a lack of food, water and veterinary care being provided at the shelters. Many of the cattle taken to these shelters are dying very prematurely, they are catching illnesses due to being under fed & watered, in fact the death rate is many times higher then that of a street animal.

The cow is a sacred animal to India’s Hindu population, and is normally treated with great respect and care. However many of the shelters that are currently available are falling far short of the legal requirements, and too many are seen as little more than illegal slaughter houses.

 To Find out more about the appalling conditions in the shelters click here.


photo of sick calf

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