Just when we were talking about the government gearing up to label every cow in India with a unique identity number, the Jharkhand government has expeditiously tagged over 12,000 cows with Aadhaar-like 12-digit unique identification (UID) number.
Preceding this move, just as the debate over cow vigilantism intensifies after repeated instances of violence across the country, the Centre on Monday decided to create Aadhaar-like UID for approximately 47 million indigenous and crossbred cows across the country. The Centre has made this proposal to the Supreme Court reportedly. The cow UID will have details like age, breed, sex, lactation, height, body, colour, horn type, tail switch and special marks of the animal.
Interestingly, even before the implementation of the Centre’s proposal, the Jharkhand State Implement Agency for Cattle and Buffalo (JSIACB), a government body, started working on a test-run project to tag its cattle with Aadhaar-like details in eight districts — Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Dhanbad, Bokaro, Jamshedpur, Deoghar, Giridih and Lohardaga.
As per Hindustan Times reports, this pilot project is being carried under the Centre’s INAPH (information network for animal productivity and health) scheme for over a year.
“The information will be uploaded on the master data within a week,” INAPH’s Jharkhand nodal in-charge KK Tiwary said.
Tiwary added that every animal has been tagged with a unique 12-digit number which is fixed around its ears with a detailed record of its identification details. It is to be noted that there is around 42 lakh head of cattle, and 70% of them are cows.
“The Centre has recently directed us to extend the programme to all 24 districts and tag at least 18 lakh cattle in a year,” Tiwary said.
Tracking of the breeding system of the animal is one of the key aims of the project said JSIACB chief executive officer Dr Govind Prasad; adding that the UID will also help Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in various districts of Jharkhand.
Meanwhile, fixing a target to finish the drive by 2017, the Centre will invest about Rs 148 crore on the tags, tag applicators, tablets and health cards. After the beef ban move, Jharkhand remains one of the few states where the Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 2005, is in place. The act imposes a penalty of Rs 5,000 and imprisonment of up to 5 years or both for offenders.