Taking a serious view of reports of lack of care of cows kept at the Tiruvannamalai Arunachaleswarar temple, the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department has come out with a detailed set of guidelines for proper maintenance of cow sheds (‘goshalas’).

The guidelines, among others, emphasise on providing adequate fodder and ventilation, obtaining advice of veterinarians for providing the right quantity of fodder to the cows and making arrangements for grazing fields. Special attention should be given to pregnant cows. The field officials should carry out periodical inspection of cow sheds once in 15 days.

The guidelines follow an order issued by the State government, framing another set of guidelines on the disposal of old cows, bulls, bullocks and calves donated to temples.

To ensure that the cattle are not sent for slaughter, executive officers of the temples concerned have to carry out inspection of cow sheds, which may be maintained by some Hindu Mutts, Jain organisations, non-government organisations.

The cattle may be given free of cost to priests of those temples under the control of HR&CE department so that they could use the milk for the temples.