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Stray Cattle Menace in India

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 problem and solution in India
Stray Cattle problem and solution in India

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

Uttar Pradesh


  • The state government passed India’s most stringent cow protection law in 2017.
  • Punishment: Cow slaughter is punishable with rigorous imprisonment of up to 10 years and a fine up to Rs. 5 lakh.
  • Illegal transportation of cows and other bovines was made a criminal offence.
  • A fine of Rs. 1 lakh, extendable to Rs. 3 lakh may be imposed additionally.


  • Karnataka has banned the slaughter of cows, bulls, and bullocks of all ages in December 2020.
  • Restrictions have been imposed on intra-State and inter-State transport of these animals for slaughter.


  • The state of Assam passed a cow protection law in 2021. It bans the slaughter of any cattle without a certificate from a government-registered Veterinary Officer.
  • Transportation of cattle to and from Assam without a permit is prohibited.

Stats IQ

SO2 Concentration

  • 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.


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