The agriculture reforms package announced by the government includes animal health as a major component. This is a welcome aspect of the package. However, the situation of the unproductive cattle is unclear. Are they sent to cow shelters and protected or are they left in the open wandering in the cities? The news about the liquor stores opening and the resulting melee includes a picture of several cows sitting in the middle of restless people and the police trying to maintain discipline. See the picture published in the Business Standard on May 4 under the heading, “Delhi liquor shops open after lockdown; cops cane customers in some places”.
India used to earn significant revenue from the export of beef, including beef from unproductive cows and buffaloes before 2014. After 2014, several states implemented a cow slaughter ban. That has led to the loss of export earnings. If the cows, like those in the picture, are left in the open, what kind protection do they receive? A policy reversal in this area will help to increase export earnings.
Chandrashekhar G Ranade Washington DC
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