Support for Madurai’s Pulikulam cattle has come from Italy. The Food and Agricultural Organisations (FAO), Rome, has sanctioned a fund to undertake conservation activities exclusively for this breed.
A two-year project (2013-15) will be implemented through SEVA, the non-governmental organisation based at Virattipathu here, as a part of Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources, which supports community-based conservation of cattle breeds.
“We will carry out a series of programmes such as documentation, workshops, training sessions, treatment for Pulikulam cattle and explore value-added products from the cow dung,” said P.Vivekanandan of SEVA.
Some of the key issues to be addressed are protecting biodiversity, livestock keeping, forest rights and ecology.
B.K.Joshi, Director, National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources, Karnal, Haryana, said the FAO support would help conserve the Pulikulam breed.
“Like Pulikulam cattle, there are many other animal breeds which are vanishing for want of support,” he said.
Three other local breeds in the country have also received FAO funding for conservation.
They are Kharai camel in Kutch (Gujarat), Boti sheep in Sadri (Rajasthan) and Attapadi black goat in Kerala.
Keywords: Pulikulam cattle, jallikattu, bull taming sport, National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources, NBAGR, indigenous cattle breed, Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Voluntary Action, SEVA, Food and Agricultural Organisations