Wednesday, August 31, 2005

When the cows are homeless

You'll remember this. Bounty hunters on motorbikes, herding up stray cows on Delhi streets. And Hurree has this post about it recently.

Now this report goes in search of the cows who have been taken off Delhi roads, and finds this:
Decomposed bodies of unattended stray cattle infested with flies are not an uncommon sight in some of the NGO-run gosadans that fall under the purview of the Delhi government. There are reports of three to five cattle deaths in some of these shelters every day.
There are several reasons for this. In Mumbai, it's usually the oldest and weakest cattle, their bodies emaciated by lifelong shackling in tabelas and too much injection of oxytocin, that are left to wander the streets in their old age when they cannot produce milk any more. But another reason for their ill health is that they get no food on a regular basis when they are on the streets, and often have to scrounge around in open dustbins. And what do we see most often in dustbins? Plastic bags, of course. Here is a case where 55 kg of plastic was found inside a cow's stomach. The report goes on to highlight just this:
One of the reasons offered for the death of animals by the volunteers working in the gosadans was that these animals are accustomed to eating garbage and their stomach contains polythene and are unable to digest the food offered at the gosadans. Some animals refuse to take the green fodder and prefer to stay hungry.


Blogger Michael Higgins said...

Hi Uma
That's so sad that these cows have to scrounge on garbage after providing a lifetime of milk. Perhaps a partial solution is to not let the cows be kept in the city limits. I believe cows should live in the country. Also I would wish that somehow these old cows could be taken care of in their old age. It only seems fair.

12:17 PM  
Blogger uma said...


i agree totally. we have been trying hard to have the dairies shifted out of the city...and there are some shelters where the animals are supposed to be taken care of in their old age. but they are already stretched beyond their capacity. so there are these poor animals wandering the streets.

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