India plans to tag millions of cows to curb smuggling

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The court was hearing a petition filed by the Akhil Bharat Krishi Goseva Sangh, alleging that there was rampant smuggling of cattle across the border to Bangladesh, which has led to depletion of cows in the country.

It will be an excellent way to track the cattle as relevant details will be easily available.The recommendations have been made amidst reports of various incidents over cow-vigilantism from all over the contry. "Already mass tagging of cattle for insurance objective is being done by Livestock Development Boards & Animal Husbandry Department of State Government..."

In a report to the apex court on cow protection, the Centre has suggested that each cow and its progeny should get a "Unique Identification Number".

"Each cow and its progeny across India should get a Unique Identification Number for tracking", the centre has told the Supreme Court.

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The report also recommends special care for cattle beyond the age of milking and stresses on the launching of a scheme for distressed farmers. These tags also gave details of the animals' physical statistics.

It points out that the Ministry of Agriculture has devised a tamper-proof method for identification of cattle, using polyurethane tags with a unique identification number sequence.

These tags cost Rs 8 apiece and are light weighted. "In order to prevent smuggling of non-milking/retired cattle, measures may be taken to create sustainable housing models, dry dairies, in every block, which could be self-sustaining by linking its operations to production of manure and bio-gas, which may be sold at a minimum support price to the government".

Blaming the government for not focusing on serious issues like malnourishment, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi said, "Controlling cow smuggling is fine, but the priorities of the government are completely misplaced". This comes amid reports of a number of attacks across the country by "gau rakshaks".