1,156 stray animals caught in Lucknow

At least 1,156 stray animals have been caught during the cattle-catching drive in Lucknow from January 3-10, according to officials of the Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC).

Joint director (animal welfare), LMC, Dr Arvind Rao said, “We have caught 123 cows on Thursday taking the total to 1,156 stray animals.”

Rao said the drive had been extended for 10 more days. “We are sure that LMC will be able to catch all stray animals. We are also getting requests from other cities to catch animals as we have expert cattle-catchers,” he added.

An LMC official said as many as 60 cattle-catchers were working day and night after the state government ordered that all stray cattle be caught and shifted to cow shelters (Gau Ashray Kendras) by January 10.

“Some cattle-catchers also sustained injuries after being hit by cows during the drive,” he added.

Near Old Hanuman Temple in Aliganj, cattle-catchers were seen running after stray animals to catch them. They used strong ropes and sticks to stop the animals and nets to trap them.

A cattle-catcher, who did not wish to be named, said: “Senior officials including LMC’s joint director (animal welfare) Dr Arvind Rao, the municipal commissioner and the DM supervised the drive.”

However, LMC officials are worried about the increasing load on Kanha Upvan and its staff where all these animals are kept.

“Kanha Upvan is already overcrowded. We will have to arrange more space for animals to keep them healthy and fit. There is no point in keeping animals stuffed in enclosures where they cannot survive,” said an LMC official.

“Presently, Kanha Upvan houses over 8,500 cows and has the capacity of 10,000. Another cow shelter home will open at Zarahara on January 15 where 600 cows will be lodged. LMC has also started the process of developing 65 bigha land for keeping cows in its natural habitat with the funds of Rs 3.12 crore. The first instalment will be released in a day or two for fencing of the area,” he said.

He said the area adjacent to Kanha Upvan would be fenced and green fodder would be cultivated for animals.

“LMC will also arrange straw fodder. A water body will also be developed to take care of the requirement of animals,” Rao added.

First Published: Jan 11, 2019 12:30 IST

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