Staff Correspondent

Seer expresses concern over dwindling numbers of native breeds

Hosnagar Ramachandrapura Math has established cow banks in six districts It will establish Go Raksha Parishats in each district The numbers of the Deoni breed have decreased by over 75 per cent in the last decade

Bidar: A swamiji heading a campaign for preservation of native Indian breeds of cattle has urged farmers not to sell away cows as soon as they get old.

Sri Raghaveshwara Bharati Swamiji of Hosnagar Ramachandrapura Math urged farmers to rear cows till they die, as their urine and dung that have medicinal value, were as valuable as milk. He was addressing a public meeting in Bidar on Sunday.

"We cannot blame slaughter houses for the decreasing numbers of native breeds of cattle. A cow gets killed the moment a farmer thinks it is old and he should sell it," he said. "No one snatches the cow from the farmer's shed. It is the farmer who sells it to the slaughter house. We should all introspect on this aspect," he said.

"Farmers are yet to realise the real value of a cow. While cow's milk sells at Rs. 15 a litre, its urine sells at Rs. 150 a litre," the swamiji said. A laboratory established in the Math's headquarters in Hosnagar had proved that cow's urine could cure several diseases. The Math planned to set up units to process cow's urine to extend its shelf life. The Math was also promoting use and sales of urine-based products such as soaps, cream and mosquito repellents.

The swamiji urged farmers not to develop a craze for exotic breeds, as though they yielded large quantities of milk, their urine and other products did not have medicinal value. It was also uneconomical to maintain an exotic breed than a native breed, he said.

He said the Math would establish "Go Raksha Parishats" in each district that would take up protection and preservation of native breeds and create awareness among farmers about these breeds. He urged farmers not to sell aged cattle to slaughterhouses, but to leave them to the care of such parishats.

He expressed serious concern about the dwindling numbers of native breeds such as Krishna Valley, Amrit Mahal, Deoni and Malenad Gidda.

According to government figures, the population of the Deoni breed unique to Bidar district had decreased by over 75 per cent in the last decade alone, he said.

The swamiji felt that the preservation of indigenous breeds was impossible by implementing the law alone. "The anti-cow slaughter bill has come up before Parliament nine times but has never been passed. Our campaign can achieve results only with the active participation of farmers and the common man," he said.

The Math had established cow banks in six districts. One such bank would come up in Bidar. This would take up the preservation of the Deoni breed of cattle apart from other breeds. It would work with the Karnataka Animal Husbandry, Veterinary and Fisheries University headquartered in Bidar.