Cattle menace: Govt to get stray cows to moo-ve
Goan roads will soon be free from the menace of stray cattle. With the failure of municipalities and village Panchayats to impound stray cattle roaming and causing accidents on highways and main roads in their areas, the government will now do the job itself.
Official sources told TOI that peeved over the high number of accidents due to stray animals, chief minister Manohar Parrikar directed the directorate of animal husbandry and veterinary services to formulate a scheme for clearing highways and main roads of the menace of stray cattle. The scheme will be notified shortly.
Powers to impound stray cattle from roads lie entirely with municipalities and village Panchayats but these bodies have not been fulfilling their duties. The government was concerned that Goa is a tourist destination and the menace of stray cattle was not only causing accidents on roads, but also causing nuisance on the beaches and destroying crops of farmers. The government has therefore decided to appoint the corporation of the city of Panaji (CCP) as an agency to impound stray cattle from all over Goa.
Sources said that the government will sanction 25 lakh to the CCP for the purchase of a special hydraulic vehicle that will help in lifting stray cattle. The CCP will also get 4 lakh monthly to meet recurring costs through the department of animal husbandry and veterinary services.
Asked how the CCP would be able to lift cattle from all over Goa, sources said that citizens would be encouraged to telephonically inform a special CCP helpline about stray cattle on roads. As an incentive, the informant will get 50 per animal.
The impounded cattle will then be transported to the vacant sheds of the AHVS at Kalay in Sanguem. The animals will be housed there for a maximum of 15 days within which cattle-owners can take back their cattle by paying a fine and transporting the cattle at their own cost. If the cattle are not collected within 15 days, the government will distribute the cows to dairy farmers for breeding, through auction.
While the animals will be looked after by veterinary doctors of the AHVS at the Kalay farm, the government will also constitute a visiting committee that will visit the farm periodically to ensure the cattle are cared for. The committee will comprise representatives of AHVS, police, directorate of Panchayats, directorate of municipal administration and NGOs working for the welfare of animals.
Sources said that dogs are not covered under this scheme and therefore will not be picked up by the CCP staff. Sources said that dogs are entrusted to the animal welfare board but a petition on stray dogs is pending before the judiciary and a decision is awaited. [TOI]