Cows dying of poor nutrition and UP Government blaming Vets

Pashu Sandesh, 18 July 2019

In what could be a classic case of shooting the messenger, the UP Chief minister suspended Chief veterinary officer of Mirzapur and three other government vets in Ayodhya, following the death of 36 cows at shelters in Ayodhya and Pratapgarh on Saturday and 35 cattle in Prayagraj on 12 July. Reacting over the untimely deaths of the Cows CM Adityanath took a video conference of all the concerned officers and issued the stern warnings along with the suspension orders.

In response to the suspension of the Veterinary officers, the UP Veterinary Association has written a letter to the Chief Minister citing the probable reasons for a large number of the cattle deaths. Association also demanded an immediate withdrawal of the suspension orders which could otherwise lead to an escalation and stir in the State.

The reason for Deaths of the Cattle as per UP Veterinary Association is due to poor nutrition which resulted by the meagre amount sanctioned by the State for the fodder of animals in the shelter. The amount sanctioned by the State government is Rs 30 per non-commercial animal which is housed in a permanent or a semi-permanent shelter.

The sanctioned amount is not sufficient for the hay, leading to negative nitrogen balance and ketosis. Apart from hay Animal also require Green fodder, mineral mixtures and supplements for complete nutrition. There is an additional requirement of nutrition in the rainy season, a deficiency of which often lead to severe stress and mass mortality as it happened recently. The animals which are bound in the shelters are affected the most in comparison to their stray counterparts which roam around and feed on a variety of available food sources.

Indian Veterinary Association (IVA) has also expressed its concern over the unjustified suspension of the Vets in Uttar Pradesh. In a letter written to the CM and the Animal Husbandry Minister of the UP, IVA has expressed its solidarity with the UP Veterinary Association and demanded an increase in the daily allowance for fodder from Rs 30 to Rs 100 per day. As per the President IVA Dr Chirantan Kadian, the Vets in the UP were punished for no fault of theirs and Vets have always considered GOU SEVA as PARAM SEVA. He also urged “Rashtriya Kamdhenu Ayog” to lend financial support to the UP cow shelters. 

Training of the Gun on Vets in this issue is absolutely unfortunate as there is no role of the Animal Husbandry department to look after the shelters. As per 11th and 12th schedule of the Constitution of India, the maintenance of Cattle pounds and Shelters are the responsibility of Urban and Rural local bodies in Municipal and Zilla panchayat Areas. The mandate of the Vets employed with the Animal Husbandry Department is to treat a sick animal. Poor policies and ill management of the Cow shelters are responsible for pushing the Animals toward poor health and untimely death. How come a Vet could be held responsible for the same??? If CM Yogi Adiyanath is so concerned about the well being of the Cows in his State then he should look nowhere else and honestly review his policies for the maintenance of the Cow shelters. If he thinks the provision of Rs 30 per day per Animal is sufficient, then Why the Cows are dying because of poor nutrition?? Someone needs to answer that.