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Aadhaar for cattle: Centre proposes unique identification number for cows across India

With an aim to stop cow smuggling, the committee said the responsibility of safety and care of abandoned animals is mainly of the state government. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons) Photograph: (Others)

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Apr 24, 2017, 10.18 AM (IST)

In a bid to avail better protection of cows and prohibition of smuggling of cattle across India and Bangladesh border, the Centre today in its report to the Supreme Court said each cow and its progeny across India should get a Unique Identification Number (UID).

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The Centre told the apex court that a committee headed by Joint Secretary and Home Ministry was formed, which has given certain recommendations in the issue.

With an aim to stop cow smuggling, the committee said the responsibility of safety and care of abandoned animals is mainly of the state government.

"Every district should have a shelter home of the capacity of at least 500 animals for abandoned animals. This will help reduce the smuggling of abandoned animals," it added.

The committee further said special care should be given to cattle beyond the age of milking, adding the animals which stop milking are mainly smuggled outside India.

"Scheme should be launched for farmers in distress so that they do not sell animals that are beyond milking age. Funding of shelter homes should be done by the State Government. The existing shelter homes lack facility and human resources," it stated.

Another recommendation by the Centre said each cow and its progeny across India should get a Unique Identification Number so that their tracking can be done.

"The UID number should have age, breed, sex, lactation, height, body, color, horn type, tail switch and special marks details of the animal. The UID for cow and its progeny should be made mandatory across India," the Centre asserted.

According to a report published in The Economics Times, the animal husbandry department had assigned technicians to affix a tag with a 12-digit unique identification number inside the ear of cows.

Nearly 100,000 technicians have been armed with 50,000 tablets, the report said. The yellow-coloured tag is fixed in the centre of the earlobe.

The tags cost Rs 8 apiece and are lightweight.

Once the tag is fixed, the technician will use a tablet to update the number in an online database and also provide the cattle owner with an 'animal health card' recording the UID number, owner's details, the status of periodic deworming and vaccinations of the animal as well as breeding details.

The move will help in tagging and tracking cattle so that they are vaccinated on time and scientific intervention is made available for better breeding and increasing milk production, doubling the income of dairy farmers in the process by 2022.

The Centre has set aside Rs 148 crore for procuring the tags, tag applicators, tablets and health cards, officials said.

(WION with inputs from agencies)

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