Goan cow becoming extinct

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 29 March 2013 18:07 IST

Goa's indigenous breed of cows seem to be facing the danger of going extinct, due to foreign bred cows which are being imported into the state to increase milk production.

Local breeds of cows are being discarded by their owners due to low milk productivity, and a rough estimate reveals that there are more than one lakh such cows lying on the state's roadsides. 

"Several cows are brought to us in a wounded condition after they are hit by vehicles. We nurse them in our ashram. However, the number of accidents has gone down after mining was stopped," Nathusingh Purohit, who has 400 cows in his Gwarkapuri Goseva Ashram, near Ponda town, said. 

The ashram houses all kind of cows, but a majority of them are local breeds orphaned due to neglect. 

State government policies have been promoting foreign breeds, which contribute to increasing milk production, while local breeds yield low quantity of milk, a senior government official said. 

A foreign breed cow gives around 28 litres of milk daily, as against hardly three litres of milk given by local breeds of cow. 

Several dairy farmers who avail of subsidies under the state government's flagship 'Kamadhenu' scheme have opted for 'Holstein Friesian' or 'Jersey' breed cows. 

Government records indicate that in the last four months, 1354 such cows were imported by farmers in the state. 

"We are not averse to local breeds of cows, but dairy farmers are not ready to accept them because of economics. There are several related issues which make them unviable," a senior government official said. 

A senior veterinary doctor in the Directorate of Animal Husbandry stated that there have been several deaths of local breed cows, because they eat plastic littered on the roadside.

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