In a bid to curb the problem of stray cows and provide them shelter and food, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had earlier set a one-week deadline for putting them in shelters by January 10. He further directed the district magistrates to ensure that the abandoned cattle were captured and treated with care.
According to media reports, official machinery till now had captured more than 3.50 lakh stray cattle and put them back in the cow shelters. “A total 3,52,073 stray cattle have been caught and put in cow shelters in the state since chief minister Yogi Adityanath issued orders in this regard in the first week of January,” principal secretary, animal husbandry, SM Bobde said. “Of them, 3,26,701 cattle have been put in 5,701 temporary cow shelters alone that have been erected in rural and urban areas during the last two months,” he further added.
Not to forget that the hue and cry over the cow have gone down drastically, this used to be a major issue a few months back. “Catching and putting the stray cattle into cow shelters has certainly ended the problem of the herds of abandoned bovine trampling down the standing crops or causing traffic bottlenecks on roads in the area,” said Mahesh Verma of Lakheempur village under Amapur development block in Kasganj district.
Opposition has been picking up on issues related to cow protection and incidents related to it since a Central government notification banned the sale of cattle for slaughter in market places. This notification was in connection to the ‘Prevention of Cruelty to animals (Regulation of livestock markets) Rules, 2017’ Act. Basically it meant that it would be illegal for anyone to slaughter cattle at market places, or public places in general. With the successful initiative of providing shelter to stray cattle, Yogi government has not only done the humane thing but has also nipped the unnecessary politics of the opposition related to cow protection in the bud.
The Vedic stature of Cow was “Aghanya” i.e., it cannot be killed. British rule witnessed a very strong Gauraksha movement in the leadership of Swami Dayanand Saraswati. Gandhi himself said that the first government order in independent India would be to close these slaughterhouses. Independent India has witnessed several massive public movements for prohibiting cow slaughter, like the one in 1966 led by Swami Karpatri ji Maharaj and Acharya Vinoba Bhave.
For an agrarian economy like India, cattle are a source of additional income from dairy products and contribute substantially to rural living. Schemes like “White Revolution”, “National Dairy Plan”, “Operation Flood”, etc. were undertaken by the Indian government to increase the milk production in India. Due to the principled stand of the current Indian government and the activities of the gau rakshaks, cow slaughter has reduced to a great extent. As a result, India’s cow milk production has increased tremendously during 2014–2016. In 2017, India became the largest milk producer in the world.