Chandigarh: The Haryana government has decided to establish Gau-Abhayaranyas cow sanctuaries at various places in the state to provide shelter to over 1.17 lakh stray cattle, the state assembly was informed on Tuesday.
"The Haryana government has decided to establish Gau-Abhayaranyas (cow sanctuaries) at various places in the state. These will be operated by District Cattle Welfare Societies," Haryana Animal Husbandry and Dairying Minister OP Dhankar told the assembly.
Dhankar said that as per 2012 livestock census, Haryana has livestock population of 89.98 lakh, out of which 18.08 lakh are cattle.
"As per 2012 census, there are 1.17 lakh stray cattle in the state, out of which 85,000 are in rural areas and 32,000 are in urban areas. During last few years, because of diminishing role of the male cattle in agricultural operations because of extensive mechanisation, males continue to form a sizeable proportion of the population," the minister said.
"Due to economic reasons, farmers let their animals loose when they become unproductive because of which the number of stray animals increases. These stray animals in rural areas cause damage to the crops and in urban areas result in accidents and related problems for vehicular traffic," Dhankar said.
The existing 408 Gaushalas (cattle ponds) shelter 306,490 animals in Haryana.
The BJP government in Haryana had enacted The Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Act, 2015 for protection of cows in the state.