Katchakatti sheep may not join native breed list
Kept off NBAGR register owing to dwindling population
The prospects of Katchakatti sheep of Madurai being recognised as an indigenous breed at the national level looks bleak.
Owing to its shrinking population, this famous black sheep remains out of the register of indigenous breeds of the National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR).
Senior NBAGR officials said the chances of the Katchakatti sheep joining the list of registered indigenous breeds in the immediate future were dim because of multiple factors, and this was communicated to those who had applied for recognition.
“We are unable to process the application for want of data and documentation. Unless stringent norms prescribed by us are followed, this breed cannot be registered. The dwindling population is one of the reasons for the delay in recognising the sheep,” Arjava Sharma, Director, NBAGR, told The Hindu . The Madurai-based Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Voluntary Action (SEVA) has submitted an application to the NBAGR for registration of the sheep. Subsequently, NBAGR experts visited Katchakatti village near here on a couple of occasions and met farmers, officials and voluntary groups. Anand Jain, principal scientist involved in processing the application, said the rules did not permit the registration of a fast-dwindling and vanishing breed. “I visited Katchakatti three months ago and did a study. When the sheep population is only around 1,000, our criteria will not allow recognition. SEVA and the Department of Animal Husbandry should take steps to increase their population.”
Dr. Jain said an important issue faced by the Katchakatti sheep was grazing, and locals must address it first. “When the NBAGR registers it as an indigenous breed, it should not vanish in the near future. This is our primary condition. Hence the application could not be pursued,” he added.