Seventy-one kilograms of plastic nails and other garbage were extracted from a pregnant cow's stomach in Faridabad, Haryana by a team of veterinarians. Despite the operation, both the cow and its offspring died. The case has emerged as a grim reminder of the nation's pollution and stray cattle problems.
Five million stray cows roam around India's cities consuming huge amounts of plastic litter that is thrown on the streets, according to international news agency AFP.
People For Animals Trust Faridabad rescued the cow after it met with a road accident in late February. The veterinarian soon noticed that the pregnant cow was struggling.
Trust President Ravi Dubay has stated that during a four-hour operation, a team of veterinarians found plastic, nails, marbles, and other garbage inside the pregnant cow's stomach. The vets conducted a premature delivery.
"The baby did not have enough space to grow in her mother's belly so she died," Dubay told AFP. The cow died three days after the operation.
"In my 13 years of experience, this is the most garbage we have taken from a cow... we had to use muscle power to get it all out," Dubay stated.
In previous surgeries conducted by the organisation, it had discovered up to 50 kilograms of garbage from cows' stomachs.
"The cow is very sacred for us, but no-one cares for their life. In every corner in every city they eat the waste," Dubay added.
Karuna Society for Animals & Nature Vice-President Ramula D'Silva had stated that the issue of garbage-eating cows affects "every city in India, big or small".
"Wherever there are cows on the streets, you can be sure they are full of plastic. My heart breaks for them as they can have very painful deaths," she told the news agency.