Stray Cattle in India
- Authority: Management of cow pounds (Gaushalas) and control of Stray Cattle Menace comes under the purview of State/UT governments and local bodies.
- In several states like Gujarat, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, the Stray Cattle in India have rehabilitated in various shelters.
- Over 900 people were killed in road accidents caused by Stray Cattle in India in the last five years.
- In Tamil Nadu, instances of encroachment by Cattle rearers upon railway land for the construction of cow sheds, have come up.
Stray Cattle Menace: Reasons
- Collapse of local cattle market: Local cattle markets across many states have collapsed, increasing the number of stray cattle.
- Cow vigilantism: Increasing cases of cow vigilantism has prevented many cattle traders from transporting cattle over long distance.
- Cow protection laws: Many states have legislated stringent cattle protection laws, which have criminalized cow slaughter.
- Closing down slaughter houses: Many state governments have closed down illegal slaughterhouses.
Stray Cattle Menace: High Court Order
- Legislation: The court has asked the Gujarat government to give effect to the Gujarat Cattle Control (Keeping and Moving) in Urban Areas Bill.
- Gujarat Cattle Control (Keeping and Moving) in Urban Areas Bill:
- License and tagging for cattle: The bill mandates cattle-rearers to obtain a license for keeping such animals in cities and towns. Registration and tagging of cattle is made mandatory.
- Punishment: If a rearer is found without license or cattle are found without a tag, a penalty of Rs 2,000 per head will be levied. Penalties for driving away cattle and sale of fodder.
- Opposition to the act: Maldhari (cattle-rearer) community members launched a series of protests across the State against the law.
Stray Cattle Menace: Anti-cow Slaughter Laws across States
- According to a study conducted by IIT Kharagpur, there has been a significant drop in Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) levels in India in the last decade as compared to the previous three decades.
- Study identifies Indo-Gangetic plain and central and eastern Indian regions as SO2 hot-spots in India.
- Thermal power plants contributed 51 per cent to SO2 concentration, the construction sector’s share was 29 per cent.
- SO2 concentrations in India increased between 1980 and 2010 due to coal burning and the lack of novel technology to contain the emissions during that period.
- Reduction In Emission and Concentration Of SO2 has been due to environmental regulation and the adoption of effective control technologies such as ‘scrubber’ and ‘flue gas desulphurisation’.
- India’s nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement include achieving about 40 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030.
- It would help to reduce the dependency on coal-based energy, and also help curb SO2 pollution in the future.