Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Monday said that the state government was contemplating setting up a commission -- Gau Samvardhan Aayog -- for the development and conservation of indigenous cow breeds.
Presiding over the second meeting of Himachal Pradesh Gau Vansh Samvardhan Board here, he said the government was laying special emphasis on the development of 'desi' or indigenous breeds of cows, which would also boost natural farming.
"In the very first cabinet meeting of the government, it was decided that at least 15 per cent of donations at the temples would be earmarked for construction, maintenance and management of Gau Sadans (cow sheds)," an official statement quoting the Chief Minister said.
The government also decided to levy a cess of one rupee on the sale of every bottle of liquor. "This shows the concern of the government towards promoting and protecting 'Gau Vansh' in the state," he added.
The Chief Minister said the government would establish cow sanctuaries in all districts of the state. The Deputy Commissioners have been directed to identify suitable land for the sanctuaries.
He said the procedure for transfer of land for setting up cow sanctuaries and cow sheds would be simplified and efforts made to make these facilities self-reliant by developing them as 'Gau Vigyan Kendras'.
Animal Husbandry Minister Virender Kanwar said the state would provide assistance and cooperation to organisations and institutions promoting indigenous breeds of cows.
Farmers in Himachal Pradesh prefer domesticated hybrid varieties rather than the native ones due to the former's high milk yields. But in certain areas of the state, people have started domesticating 'pahari' or native cows.
The short-statured 'pahari' cattle are highly adaptable to the hilly terrain, are disease-resistant and can thrive even on poor pastures.
(With inputs from agencies.)