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Control American cattle breeds to tackle stray animal problem: Opposition

Control American cattle breeds to tackle stray animal problem: Opposition

Chandigarh, Feb 21 (PTI) Opposition benches in the Punjab Assembly Thursday pitched for controlling American bovine breeds as one of the steps to tackle the problem of stray animals, saying the foreign breeds could not be related "genetically, biologically and religiously" with indigenous ones. They also sought formation of a House committee to find solutions for tackling the problem, which was responsible for the rising accidental deaths in the state. During the ongoing session, AAP MLAs Aman Arora and Manjit Singh Bilaspur, and Lok Insaaf Party legislator Simarjit Singh Bains sought to draw the animal husbandry minister's attention towards the problem of American Bulls (Jersey), cows and stray animals. Arora said a number of lives were being lost because of the problem of stray animals and he accused the state government of not taking appropriate steps to take care of strays, despite a cow cess being charged. The AAP legislator said political parties and governments were shying away from acting in this matter and he linked this whole issue to religious sentiments. Stressing that there was a need to focus more on rearing indigenous breeds, Arora said American breeds were the root cause of the problem of strays as they were more violent. The AAP MLA said the number of road accidents had escalated in the state due to the menace of stray cattle. Both American and indigenous breeds could not be related genetically, biologically and religiously, said Arora. The AAP legislator even suggested that the government should conduct DNA testing to find out the breeds of animals. Participating in the debate, Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu attributed it to the problem of 'Gau Charan', the land reserved for grazingcattle, being encroached in the state, saying nobody could sell this donated land. LIP MLA Simarjit Singh Bains pointed out that the jurisdiction of cow shelters in the district needed to be fixed to solve this problem. He also said American bovine breeds were not part of Indian culture and could be sent to slaughter houses. Replying to the calling attention notice, state animal husbandry minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said the state government was seized of the matter and it was taking steps to tackle the stray animal problem. "The department is going to install semen sorting technology soon, which will pave the way for protection sexed semen. Application of sexed semen will result in birth of female calves, thereby solving the problem of stray male to large extent. Further the department is in the process of importing 50,000 doses of sexed semen of Holstein Freisian cattle," said Sidhu. PTI CHS VSD AAR