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Stray cattle management scheme evokes poor response

Panaji: There has been a ‘tepid’ response to the Goa stray cattle management scheme 2013 (modified) with only seven local bodies having come forward to avail the benefits of the scheme.

This scheme was modified by the government in 2015 providing attractive incentives to municipalities, panchayats, animal welfare organisations, goshalas and civic and consumer forums to impound and shelter stray cattle.

As per the data provided by the animal husbandry and veterinary services department, only seven local bodies have come forward to avail the scheme for the financial years 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Village panchayats such as Naquerim Betul, Verem Vagurme, and Aldona, Ponda municipal council, Quepem municipal council and Valpoi municipal council have opted for the scheme.

A senior official of the department attributed the tepid response to the scheme to poor awareness among the public, local bodies, NGOs and animal welfare organisations.

The presence of cattle on roads poses a threat to motorists, who could crash into the straying animals especially at night due to poor visibility.

“The local bodies are required to sign an MoU with the animal welfare organisations… It is mandatory for the local bodies to construct cattle pounds in their respective areas,” said an official of the department.

Under the modified scheme, the appointed agency are given 90 per cent grants to buy Rs 18 lakh worth hydraulic lift vehicles, Rs 10,000 per month as salary for a driver and Rs 5,000 per square metre for the construction of sheds subject to NOC from the authorities.

The modified scheme also stipulates payment to the agency an amount of Rs 75 per day for feeding cattle, Rs 30,000 salary per month to veterinary surgeon, appointment of

six attendants with Rs 6,000 salary per month each, payment of Rs 2,000 as rumenotomy cost per animal besides Rs 5 per animal for the survey of stray cattle, Rs 2,000 for burial of dead animal and Rs 200 per animal for microchip or notching.

As per the criteria of the scheme, the agency/animal welfare organisations shall be responsible to catch the stray cattle from the roads, beaches, fields, public places in their area of operation and transport them to the cattle pound.

The agency shall impound, look after the animals during the holding period and transport the animals by specialised vehicle to the cattle pound in their area. [NT]

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