Shimla: The construction of a cow sanctuary for abandoned and stray in Himachal Pradesh's Shimla district, the sixth in the state, has been completed with an outlay of Rs 2.22 crore and will be inaugurated this month, state Animal Husbandry Minister Virender Kanwar said on Tuesday.
The sanctuary has been developed by the Gau Seva Aayog in Sunni, some 45 km from the capital, with a capacity to house 500 cows.
The state aims to set up cow sanctuaries in 11 of the 12 districts, barring Lahaul-Spiti, to provide shelter to the stray cattle in the natural environment and facilities for grazing as per the availability of land resources.
Earlier, they were set up in Sirmaur, Una, Solan, Hamirpur and Kangra districts.
The concept of cow sanctuaries is different from 'gaushalas' where the animals are kept indoors. Here the animals will be free to roam in the fenced area.
The upcoming sanctuary will be later developed as a breeding centre to promote indigenous breeds -- Pahadi (Gauri), Gir, Red Sindhi, Sahiwal and Thar Parkar, said the minister.
"Animals rescued from cattle smugglers will also be kept in the facility," said Kanwar.
The Gau Seva Aayog serves as a regulatory body to supervise the functioning of different agencies engaged in the welfare of cows, including 'gau shalas' and cow research centres.
The state has imposed a cow cess of Re 1 on each bottle of liquor to raise funds for 'gau shalas' and cow sanctuaries.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)