`Most exotic breeds are susceptible to disease'
Seer says the breed is on the verge of extinction Farmers urged to donate old cattle to `Goshalas'
BIDAR: "It an alarming development the Deoni breed of cows, which is one of the most disease-resistant breeds, is on the verge of extinction. Its numbers have dwindled by over 75 per cent in the last ten years. If we do not take measures to preserve the breed, we will lose it once forever," Sri Raghaveshwara Bharati Swamiji of Ramachandrapura Math said in Bidar on Saturday.
He was speaking at a Go Sansat (cow parliament) organised to create awareness about the importance of indigenous cattle breeds.
The Deoni breed is native to north east Karnataka and south east Maharashtra.
Research by the Maharashtra Agriculture University has established that the Deoni bull is very strong and is capable of hard labour. It is our duty to protect and preserve this native breed. He said farmers were fascinated by exotic breeds owing to their high milk yield, but were oblivious to their susceptibility to disease.
He said the Indian Council of Agriculture Research had decided to support research on indigenous cattle breeds and added that this was a welcome development.
Once scientists were involved in the protection of native breeds it would be easy to create awareness about it among people, the seer said.
He asked people to protect native breeds by keeping one cow or bull in their houses or farms. He called upon the people to start using cow's urine and cow-related products.
The Ramachandrapura Math produces scores of medicines and other products from the cow.
"We produce vibhuti, soap, toothpaste, cosmetics, agarbattis and other items. People should use them and also try and make them at home," the seer said.
He asked people to donate to Go Shalas (community cow sheds). He urged farmers not to send old cattle to slaughterhouses and instead donate them to Go halas.
He said the math was trying to run vehicles on gas produced by cow dung.
A pilot project was on and if it was successful, it would be replicated on a large scale, he said.