There are media reports as to the cattle rearers abandon their milch cattle and bulls as stray animals when they can no longer produce milk and bear their burden of load. Reports have also been received from various media that the stray animals are causing the threat of crop damage and road accidents.
As per the Article 246(3) of the Constitution of India in List II of Seventh Schedule, the Preservation, protection and improvement of stock and prevention of animal diseases, veterinary training and practice are under State list on which the State has exclusive power to make laws for such State or any part thereof with respect to any of the matters enumerated in List II of the Seventh Schedule. Further, as per Article 48 of the Constitution of India State shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.
As per the Eleventh Schedule of Constitution of India, the state may endow Panchyats to establish and run the Cattle Pounds (Kanji Houses)/ Gaushala Shelters(community assets). Many States are establishing the Gaushalas and Shelter houses for control of Stray Cattle. Further, as per Section 3 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, it is the duty of every person having care or charge of any animal to take all reasonable measures to ensure the well being of such animal and to prevent infliction of unnecessary pain and sufferings. Section 11(1) (h) of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 provides that it is a cruelty, if any person, being the owner of (any animal) fails to provide such animal with sufficient food, drink or shelter and as per the Section 11 (1)(i) it is a Cruelty, if any person, without reasonable cause, abandons any animal in circumstances which tender it likely that it will suffer pain by reason or starvation, thirst and it is also a punishable offense under PCA Act, 1960. The Provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and Rules framed thereunder need to be implemented by the State Governments.
The Animal Welfare Board has issued advisory on stray animals to all the State Governments/ Union Territories vide letter dated 12th July, 2018. The Gaushalas are established to take care of stray animals. The Animal Welfare Board encourages such organizations by providing grant-in-aid for taking care of the animals with the budget provided by the Government of India. Apart from the aforementioned actions, many state governments are also taking various actions for rehabilitating stray cattle.
The Central Government is also implementing sex sorting semen technology for artificial insemination which will produce only female animals and is being implemented through Artificial Insemination Technology for which the Central Government is providing semen straws at subsidized rates. This effort will reduce the number of male animals which are left by the farmers.
This information was given in a written reply by the Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan in Lok Sabha today.