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Odisha to conserve indigenous breeds of cattle facing extinction

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Bhubaneswar: With livestock breeds indigenous to Odisha facing serious existential threats due to cross-breeding and adoption of foreign varieties, the state government has decided to identify and conserve the local species.

While the government has identified 21 indigenous species for conversation, it is trying to register the breeds with the National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resource (NBAGR) that would boost the conservation and upgradation of livestock resources in the state.

“We are developing selected breeds and trying to conserve and upgrade the breeds through natural processes. Since indigenous breeds have shown exceptional survivability in different regions, they need to be preserved,” Fisheries and Animal Resources Development secretary, Bishnupad Sethi was quoted as saying.

There are 29 endangered indigenous breeds in total, comprising five of cattle, eight of buffalo, five of sheep, four of goat, three of hen, and four of duck. Of them, eight have either been already delcared indigenous, or registered by NBAGR.

Binjharpuri, Motu, Ghumsuri, and Khariar cattle, as well as the Chilika and Kalahandi buffalo, have already gained recognition as indigenous breeds of the country.

Besides, Ganjam goat and sheep, in Ganjam and Bolangir and Aseel, chicken have also been registered with NBAGR in recent years.

“In terms of buffalo genetic resources Odisha has two national recognised breeds – Chilika and Kalahandi.

However, a lot of lesser known buffalo germplasm, like Paralakhemundi, Manda, Jerangi, Sambalpuri and Kugang, are also found in the state,”said Susant Kumar Dash, professor of animal breeding and genetics at Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT)

The indigenous livestock population possess valuable traits such as disease resistance, high fertility, good maternal quality, longevity and possess unique ability to utilize poor quality feed, and can adapt to harsh and difficult climate.

Dash,who is credited for giving national recognition to four cattle and two buffalo breeds of the state, said that he has already submitted the research paper and applied for national recognition of another two indigenous breeds, Paralakhemundi and Manda with NBAGR.

Manda buffalos are found in Ganjam and Gajapati, while Parlakhemundi buffaloes hail from Gajapati and Koraput districts.

Besides Ganjam and Bolangir sheep, which are the two nationally recognised breeds of sheep in Odisha, there are several goat breeds like Bengal type, Raighar, Ghumusari, Maraguda, and Kalahandi goat with different potentialities.

“My team has already prepared a report on Kendrapara sheep, which have high potency with respect to prolificacy and mutton production. These are the only sheep which have the highest percentage of multiple births in the world,” said Dash.

The study by OUAT and Odisha Livestock Development Society, a state government agency, found that more than 80 percent of Kendrapada Sheep give birth to multiple offsprings in the same delivery with 71 percent giving birth to twins, nine percent to triplets and one percent to quadruplets.

Dash said that he is now working on Raighar and Ghumusari, to give them national recognition as indigenous breeds of Odisha. (IANS)

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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

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

 

 

2 responses to “Cows on Ramp: India’s Unique Bovine Beauty Pageant”

  1. 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.

    • 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’