Cabinet approves setting up of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog for cows
The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on February 6, 2019 approved the proposal for establishment of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog for conservation, protection and development of cows and their progeny.
The setting up of the Aayog was announced in the Union Interim Budget 2019-20.
Terms of Reference
The Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog will work in collaboration with Veterinary, Animal Sciences or Agriculture University, departments or organisations of the Central and State Governments engaged in the task of research in breeding and rearing of cow, organic manure, biogas, etc.
• The setting up of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog will lead to conservation, protection and development of cattle population in the country including development and conservation of indigenous breeds.
• It will result in increased growth of livestock sector which is more inclusive, benefitting women, and small and marginal farmers.
• It will provide the policy framework and direction to the cow conservation and development programmes in the country.
• It will ensure proper implementation of laws with respect to the welfare of cows.
Plight of cows in India: Issue of Cattle Slaughter
Cow, considered as a sacred animal in India, owns a tremendous value for its nutritious milk and variety of dairy products. In India, there are thousands of stray cows that walk the jammed streets freely owing to the law and belief of the people that they shouldn't be harmed physically.
However, despite such sacred sentiments and animal protection laws, cattle slaughter has become a controversial topic in India in recent times, with one group of Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists treating cattle such as cows, bulls and calves as an endeared and respected living being, while the other religions of Islam and Christianity considering it as a source of meat.
In such intense scenario, Union Government's new Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Market) Rules also steamed up the winds. These Rules prohibit the sale of cows and buffaloes for slaughter at animal markets.
Though the Supreme Court tried to normalise the situation by putting a stay on the ban on cattle slaughter in July 2017, the issue of cattle slaughter still looms over.