Special Correspondent

Focus to be on study of population of improved species of milch cows

Implements used in animal husbandry to be enumerated

BANGALORE: The livestock census in the State, which began on September 15 and end on October 15, will be the 18th such initiative being undertaken.

Briefing presspersons here on Thursday, Commissioner of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary S. Ashwath said that about 13,600 enumerators and 1,360 supervisors would be involved in the census. It will cover 29,406 villages, 270 towns and 1.23 crore households in the State. Mr. Ashwath said the statistics would be corroborated in less than three months time.

The census will include cows, buffaloes, oxen, sheep, goats, horses, donkeys, zebras, camels, pigs, dogs and rabbits among the quadrupeds. In the poultry section, chicken, ducks and turkeys will be counted. The implements used in animal husbandry would be enumerated, Mr. Ashwath added.

The census will also include the number of fishermen, types of boats, nets and other implements used in both inland and coastal areas.

Karnataka is perhaps the first State to take stock of livestock as early as 1897 under the guidance of Nalwady Krishnaraja Wodeyar of the erstwhile Mysore Samsthanam. Since then, the livestock census has been held every five years once.

This year’s census will lay special emphasis on the study of population of improved species of milch cows and that of the local varieties.

Local species

Mr. Ashwath said that the last census undertaken in 2003 had shown a decline in local species such as Malnad Gidda, Deoni, Amruta Mahal, Hallikar, Krishna Valley and Kilari. Giving details of some other developments in research, Mr. Ashwath said that a coloured version of broiler chicken would soon hit the market. The Girirani variety was being further developed, he said.

Mr. Ashwath, quoting from the previous census figures, said that there were 95.96 lakh cows and oxen, 40. 24 lakh buffaloes, 72.72 lakh sheep, 44.91 lakh goats, 3.20 lakh pigs, 6,402 rabbits, 26.09 lakh dogs,14,216 horses, 24,760 donkeys, 23 zebras and 39 camels in the State. There were also 2.44 crore chicken.

Such a census would help in the event of natural calamities and also in extending veterinary facilities in the state, he added.