The problem of stray cattle on roads is not new in India, and these animals often bring the flow of traffic on busy roads to a standstill along with major road accidents. Stray cattle roaming around freely in the cities have become a serious problem.
The situation turns all the more worse at night when it becomes difficult for the drivers to spot the stray animals due to darkness. The police are also silent over the issue. These animals also pose problems to drivers; especially during the night. Vehicles usually move at a high speed on the roads thus posing more risk to lives of their occupants as well as stray animals. These abandoned animals can be spotted at many points in the city.
Most cows roaming in the street of cities like, New Delhi, Allahabad, Ujjain, cities in Haryana and other part of the India are not healthy cows; they do not live on grass or other hygienic foods. Most of these cows constantly eat food from garbage and leftovers. Even though it may not be obvious, many of them are actually diseases or sick. So, eating their meat or drinking their milk is raising the health concerns.
There is overwhelming evidence that animals are reservoirs for several of the most important food-borne and waterborne agents. Manure and wastewater from animal feeding operations have the potential to contribute pathogens and pollutants, such as antibiotics, nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), hormones, sediments, heavy metals, organic matter, and ammonia, to the environment and eventually could impact human health. Some of the illnesses resulting from these agents cause only temporary health problems, while others cause severe crises and even death.
Most of these cows come from illegal or unregistered roadside dairies and cattle sheds, many are actually left by owners because they become old, stop giving milk or they cannot afford them any further. Non-milking cattle are also left loose to save on their feed. The owners, after milking the cattle, let them loose so that they can graze outside. Non-milking cattle are also left loose to save on their feed.
The problems of impounding these cattle are many:
• The paucity of trained man power with the Municipal Corporation to catch and load them in a truck.
• Lack of Gaushalas with adequate space.
• The tendency of the neighbouring towns/cities to catch their stray cattle and leave them outside near the next city
• Many lives have already been lost and many others have been injured due to accidents involving stray cattle, especially in rainy season, due to the cow dung roads becomes slippery which invites the road accident in great way.
Initiatives taken by some state government
• Rajasthan state government gave an incentive of Rs 50 per cattle per day to any one for the upkeep of stray cattle. "Sheds should be built along the highways where the stray cattle should be herded and lodged".
• The process to set up five cow sanctuaries in the Uttar Pradesh has been initiated apart from 426 existing ‘Gaushalas’ in the state. The problem of stray animals, causing traffic blockades and accidents on city roads, is increasing day-by-day due to the lackadaisical attitude of the administration towards the issue.
• Delhi government was hired about 150 stray cows’ catchers who are supposed to bring 10 cows per day. These people know that of all the cows are removed they will eventually they will lose their job. Due to the corruption, these stray cattle often make their way back on street and are often caught multiple times.
• The solution lies in relocating the dairies, centrally, outside the city.
• The authorities have to create infrastructure for these dairies so that the owners can operate them. Thereafter, creating huge Gaushalas, at appropriate locations, which can take care of stray cattles.