FPJ Editorial: Holistic Solution To Cattle Menace

FPJ Editorial: Holistic Solution To Cattle Menace

For effective cow protection, a paradigm shift is imperative. Instead of relying solely on punitive measures like fines and identification chips, the government must take proactive steps.

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Friday, November 24, 2023, 01:39 AM IST
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FPJ Editorial: Holistic Solution To Cattle Menace | Representational Image

The Surat Municipal Corporation has embarked on a formidable mission — to eradicate the looming threat of stray cattle within the city. This audacious initiative involved the apprehension of 809 cattle, resulting in fines amounting to ₹5.75 lakh imposed on the owners of 409 of them.

SMC 's move of putting radio-frequency identification chips on cattle

In a bold move, the SMC has also implemented radio-frequency identification chips on all cattle to monitor their movements closely. The catalyst behind this fervour is the stern warning issued by the Gujarat High Court, highlighting the perils posed by stray cattle in urban areas — ranging from impeding vehicular traffic to causing accidents and presenting health hazards.

However, this anti-stray cattle operation has not been met without resistance and resentment from the local populace. Instances of public pushback during the confiscation of animals have prompted the deployment of police forces by the SMC authorities. Even those fined have turned against the corporation. Unfortunately, the issue extends beyond Surat, permeating throughout the state with no permanent solution in sight from either the government or the courts.

The evolving dynamics of the cattle conundrum

The evolving dynamics of the cattle conundrum stem from changes in legislation. States like Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana have passed stringent anti-cow slaughter laws, leaving farmers unable to dispose of non-productive cattle. The traditional practice of selling unproductive cows to butchers has become obsolete, leaving farmers economically constrained and lacking the space to care for them. Consequently, the displaced cattle roam in search of sustenance, resorting to feeding on waste in urban areas — a perilous diet that includes plastic and hazardous materials.

For effective cow protection, a paradigm shift is imperative. Instead of relying solely on punitive measures like fines and identification chips, the government must take proactive steps. Providing shelters for non-productive cattle is paramount. Only through such compassionate interventions can cities be shielded from the menace of stray cattle, ensuring both public safety and the welfare of these animals. The current approach, while well-intentioned, falls short of addressing the root causes of the issue, necessitating a more holistic and sustainable strategy for coexistence.

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