Guwahati, July 16: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday said that the state will start artificial insemination in cattle using sex-sorted semen so that after a few years, only superior breeds of cows, and no bulls, are born.
Through the use of sex-sorted semen, the gender of the calf can be pre-determined. The Chief Minister also said that cow shelters will be opened in tea garden areas to keep seized cattle safely.
"The veterinary department has told me that we can go for artificial insemination in cattle using sex-sorted semen. This would mean that 10 to 20 years later, the cattle breed will be only cows, and no bulls," Sarma said. During a discussion on a Special Mention brought by opposition AIUDF legislator Aminul Islam, the Chief Minister claimed that there is a tendency among the people to give away bulls to slaughterhouses.
"If we look at Hindu parampara or ancient history, there is reference only to female cattle, like Kamdhenu, and how we were benefited with milk. That means there must have been something which ensured that cows were more in number than bulls," Sarma said. According to Indian mythology, Kamdhenu is a sacred cow that grants all wishes of its owner. On ensuring that cattle seized by the police in the state are kept safely, the chief minister said that goshalas (cow shelters) will be opened and run in tea gardens by the government as excess land is available in these areas.
The cow dung can be used by the tea gardens as organic fertiliser, he added. Acknowledging that looking after the seized cattle is a problem, he said that running away from problems will not help and solutions have to be found out. The state government has already brought in a Bill, the Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021, which seeks to regulate slaughter, consumption and transportation of cattle.