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Indigenous cows face depletion, says plea in SC

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The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Union government to respond to a petition to restrict the import of exotic bulls to prevent cross-breeding, which has led to the depletion of indigenous cows, and immediate shutdown of unauthorised slaughter houses.

A Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and M.R. Shah issued notice to the government on the appeal filed by Mathala Chandrapati Rao, a petitioner-in-person, who sought urgent directions from the court for the “protection of cow progeny in the country”.

The Bench issued notice to over 90 respondents, including the Union, States, pollution control boards and biodiversity boards across the country.

Mr. Rao said his appeal follows the ‘failure’ of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to pass any directions despite the “shocking state of affairs” in which “Indian cows, which are there for the past 35,000 years, are vanishing day by day due to cross breeding and indiscriminate slaughter”.

Mr. Rao said the government had not taken any steps to prevent the “depletion of indigenous cows” despite its legal liabilities to protect biodiversity and environment under the Bio Diversity Act and the Environment Protection Act.

The petition said the NGT failed to pass any positive directions despite placing on record a report from The National Commission for Cattle. The report submitted to the Centre by its Acting Chairperson Justice Guman Lal Lodha “expressed serious concern on the slaughter of milking cows and calves”, the petition said.

“The tribunal could have directed the closer of more than 1,00,000 unauthorised slaughter houses in existence all over the country and restricted import of exotic bulls and bullocks; and directed for sterilisation of exotic bulls and bullocks… The illegal slaughter of indigenous cows will result irreparable loss to environment, land and people,” the petition said.

Mr. Rao has introduced himself in the petition as an 83-year-old public spirited senior citizen hailing from a traditional family of farmers. He said “though a trained aircraft maintenance engineer worked under various central and State governments, the appellant passionately believes that financial viability and success of farming is possible in India only through animal assisted organic (natural) farming”.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2020 5:15:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/indigenous-cows-face-depletion-says-plea-in-sc/article28645360.ece

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