Yogi government moots cow safaris to deal with stray cattle menace

The Yogi Adityanath government may soon set up cow safaris in Uttar Pradesh to deal with the problem of rising stray cattle menace.

UP animal and husbandry minister Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary has directed officials of his department to identify suitable lands in different parts of the state where cows can graze freely.

The minister is also expected to meet Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath soon with a proposal.

Speaking to India Today, state cabinet minister and UP government spokesperson Srikant Sharma said, “Since BJP has come to power in the state, we have taken a lot of effective measures for cow protection. Our government has set up cow shelters in every district so that the cattle do not roam on the roads. We have also urged the public to contribute in cow protection and have also made arrangements to provide fodder and other necessary arrangements in shelters.”

Former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav took a jibe at the government’s idea of setting cow safaris.

He said, “This government failed to start Lion safari on time which was set up during the previous regime in Etawah as a wildlife tourism destination. Ministers are busy inaugurating schemes and projects started by us. No new work has been done in the state so far under the BJP rule.”

In August this year, the government approved ‘Mukhyamantri Nirashrit Besahara Govansh Sahbhagita Yojana’, a scheme seeking people’s participation in the protection of the stray cattle by providing Rs 30 per animal every day.

Earlier, the Yogi Adityanath government had made arrangements for cow shelters in this year’s budget and also instructed each district administration and municipal corporation to make arrangements for cow shelters to resolve the issue of stray cattle.

The state budget, presented by former finance minister Rajesh Agarwal in February this year, proposed Rs 247.60 crore for maintenance and construction of gaushalas (cow shelters) in rural areas.

The state government also issued an order allowing corporate houses to use corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds to provide facilities for abandoned cows in rural areas.

A 12-digit unique identification number, like the Aadhaar, affixed as a yellow tamper-proof tagged inside the ear of animals like cows and buffaloes were also done earlier this year by the government in cow shelters to create a database and to deal with the problem of stray cattle menace.

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