New Delhi: Union Animal Husbandry and Dairying Minister Giriraj Singh has said cases of mob lynching will come to an end in India because the government aims to achieve 100 per cent artificial insemination of cows through sex-selection semen by 2025, which will ensure there are mostly female calves.
Explaining his statement, the controversial BJP politician said stray animals are mostly male because of modernised farming and a ban on slaughter, which often leads to farmers abandoning them. Females, on the other hand, are seen as valuable until nursing age.
“Ek bhi bhains ka bachcha (male) aapko sadak par nahi dikhega kyunki bovine meat is allowed. Woh chale jaate hain katne ke liye. But humare male road par aa jaate hai. Agar hum sex semen (sic) karenge toh female hee paida hongi (You will not find a buffalo’s male calf on the road as they can be legally slaughtered. However, stray animals are usually male calves of cows. If there is an artificial insemination, you can ensure the gender is female),” the minister said.
India has witnessed a number of mob lynching cases in the name of cow protection across the country. Cow slaughter is banned in most parts of India. Opposition parties claim that cow vigilante groups who claim to protect them have increasingly cropped up under the Narendra Modi government.
30% cows are artificially inseminated
According to a senior animal husbandry official, artificial insemination is one of the key strategies to increase the productivity of bovines by upgrading their genetic potential.
“At present, the artificial insemination coverage in the country is only 30 per cent, with the rest either left unbred or bred with scrub bulls on unknown genetic merit,” the official said.
The ministry is also looking to encourage a public-private partnership in this field to meet the target.
Cost of sex-selection semen reduced
Until 2018, sex-selection semen — containing genes with only the ‘X’ chromosome — needed to be imported and was expensive. However, with the Modi government opening several insemination centres to indigenously develop it, the cost has been reduced considerably.
“Our goal is to double the farmers’ income by 2022 and we are taking steps in that direction by ensuring we reach a target of 100 per cent artificial insemination and through other schemes,” said minister Singh.
In addition, to increase the export of buffalo meat, the government had cleared a Rs 13,500 crore proposal to fully control foot and mouth disease among the country’s livestock. The scheme will be launched by PM Modi on 11 September in Mathura.
Singh said the scheme also covers Brucellosis, an infection that could cause infertility among patients and reduce milk output by 30 per cent over their life-span.