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Cows on Ramp: India’s Unique Bovine Beauty Pageant

Farmers from 21 districts of Haryana brought their cows and bulls to participate in the event

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(Representative image) Cows on Maheshwar Ghats, Wikimedia
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ROHTAK: On 14 May 2016, hundreds of cows and bulls, decked up in traditional attire, walked the ramp in a bovine beauty pageant which was organised in Haryana’s Rohtak town for the purpose of raising awareness about animal health and promoting domestic cattle breeds.

Farmers from various districts of Haryana brought their cows and bulls to participate in the event and felt proud when they were walking on the ramp along with their animals at the sprawling grounds of the International Institute of Veterinary Education and Research. The state government was trying to promote local breeds of cows and therefore only indigenous breeds were allowed to participate in the event.

Related Article: Beef Controversy: Origins of beef consumption in India

The animals were judged by a panel of experts. The judgement was on the basis of animal’s size and their overall beauty like length of their horns and for cows- their milk yielding capacity was counted as well. Out of more than 630 animals, 18 were selected as winners in different categories- from the healthiest to best-looking cows and bulls, The Times of India reported.

The Agriculture Minister of Haryana, OP Dhankar was invited as the chief guest at the event, gave the prize money of 250,000 rupees (£2,500; $3,600) to the owner of the winning cow.

Cow at the event Image: News18
Cow at the event Image: News18

While most cows and bulls were swift and walked gracefully on the ramp, other had to be pulled and prodded by their owners to walk for judges and finish the ramp distance with the huge crowd cheering their every move.

Cows hold a unique and a sacred position in Hindu society. Apart of being considered as a sacred animal in Hindu mythology and revered by millions of Hindus, cows are also loved as the source of the milk products used in almost every Indian dish, from curries to desserts.

In 2014, India surpassed the European Union as the world’s largest milk producer. A number of Indian states have recently introduced laws completely banning the possession or consumption of beef.

Compiled By Pashchiema Bhatia. Twitter: @pashchiema

 

 

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  • Akanksha Sharma

    Cow is considered as goddess in hindu religion and people worship them, thus they do not prefer eating beef. But banning the consumption on beef according to the Hindu religion beliefs gives the fear of Rising hindu nationalism. India is a secular state, so Hindus cannot force their religion on other religions.

    • Pashchiema Bhatia

      Its not just about religion, there are Hindus as well who consume and but we cannot ignore the fact that banning anything in India is not an easy task.. Due to rising intolerance, government would have to face thousands of protesters confronting the ban.. And moreover, India is a secular country. It cannot support anyone’s religious beliefs while denying the others’

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  • Akanksha Sharma

    Cow is considered as goddess in hindu religion and people worship them, thus they do not prefer eating beef. But banning the consumption on beef according to the Hindu religion beliefs gives the fear of Rising hindu nationalism. India is a secular state, so Hindus cannot force their religion on other religions.

    • Pashchiema Bhatia

      Its not just about religion, there are Hindus as well who consume and but we cannot ignore the fact that banning anything in India is not an easy task.. Due to rising intolerance, government would have to face thousands of protesters confronting the ban.. And moreover, India is a secular country. It cannot support anyone’s religious beliefs while denying the others’

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Study: Fever, chills, And Muscle Pain Could Be Signs Of Leptospirosis

Fever, chills, and muscle pain aren’t the symptoms just of malaria

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A herdsman walks his cattle as they graze in Naivasha, Kenya, Feb. 15, 2018.
A herdsman walks his cattle as they graze in Naivasha, Kenya, Feb. 15, 2018. VOA

Fever, chills, and muscle pain aren’t the symptoms just of malaria. They could be signs of leptospirosis, which infects millions of people each year — primarily in tropical regions.

The under-reported disease is usually spread though contact with rodents, but a new study finds this trend may not hold in northern Tanzania or beyond.

Research in Asia has tied living in close quarters with rats to outbreaks of leptospirosis. The bacterial infection causes symptoms that are often mistaken for malaria. Severe cases can be life-threatening, says Professor Albert Ko at the Yale School of Public Health.

“Our group has done global burden of disease studies on this and there are over a million a cases a year and roughly 60 thousand deaths,” said Ko.

Common source of fevers

Leptospirosis is becoming recognized as a common source of fevers in Africa. But the source of the disease was unclear. It could be rats, or it could be something else, said Michael Maze, of the University of Otago.

“Well, we know that leptospirosis has many possible animal hosts,” said Maze. “I guess the story starts when we identified how common leptospirosis was the cause of severe fever in people coming to the hospital in northern Tanzania.”

Maze and an international team of researchers asked those patients about their lifestyles: how many rats they saw around their home… whether they owned livestock and if so, what kind?

They also tested blood samples for leptospirosis infections. Of the nearly 900 people tested, almost a third were infected, or had been.

The researchers also trapped almost 400 rats in nearby villages. They tested the rodents to see if they carried the leptospira bacterium like their Asian cousins. They did not.

But cattle did — they found over seven percent of them carried up to four types of leptospira that could potentially infect humans. Goats and sheep did, too, though less often.

cow
cow, Pixabay

Blood samples match

This result matched the findings from the patients’ blood samples. People who owned livestock were most likely to have leptospirosis infections, especially cattle owners.

“Leptospirosis is carried in the renal tract — so the kidney and the bladder — and comes out in the urine of infected animals,” said Maze. “So even simple things like avoiding urine while doing activities such as, for example, milking cattle would be a good first step.”

Maze recommends abattoir workers and dairy farmers wear gloves and other protective clothing.

“A cow is much bigger and it produces a much larger volume of urine and so that creates a greater opportunity for exposure,” said Maze.

But Maze and colleagues found doctors did not diagnose a single one of the patients in the study with leptospirosis. In fact, one in four active cases was misdiagnosed as malaria — even though the patients’ blood tested negative for parasites.

Symptoms similar

Maze says one reason is because symptoms of the two diseases are similar and there is not an accurate, simple test for leptospirosis that can be run in regional hospitals.

“The second reason is that clinician awareness of these diseases is low,” said Maze. “If you don’t recognize them it becomes a cycle where they’re never diagnosed so you never recognize them.”

Yale’s Albert Ko says the work Maze and his colleagues have done provides a better understanding of how leptospirosis spreads.

Also read: The outbreak of Leptospirosis with monsoon: Symptoms and precautions

“This is an important study specifically because it provides key information on risk factors in a high burden setting, said Ko. “In specifically among this at-risk population of vulnerable pastoralist society.” (VOA)