Showing posts from 2015

An app to conserve Kangeyam cattle

In an effort to protect native breeds of cattle, especially the Kangeyam cattle known to be an asset of the Chera dynasty, a mobile application, Konga Madu , was launched in the city on Saturday. Konga Gosalai and Shri Sakthi Institute of Engineering and Technology have come up with this app, aimed at providing the required information to farmers possessing Kangeyam bulls and cows. The app was launched by H. Raja, national secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party, at a function held at the college.
According to the organisers, KongaDesam or Chera kingdom has been producing the best breeds of Indian Zebu cattle (bos indicus) and is well documented in Tamil Sangam literature. The recent archaeological excavations at Porunthai and numismatic evidence from Amaravathi river in Karur corroborate the Sangam texts in confirming the cattle propagation during the time of the Chera kingdom. After the advent of exotic breeds such as Jersey to augment milk production, native breeds have …

Need to rear more indigenous cattle breeds: Pejawar seer

Need to rear more indigenous cattle breeds: Pejawar seer Udupi, Oct 07, 2015, DHNS The Pejawar Mutt Seer Vishwesha Theertha Swami said that people should take a decision to safeguard the livestock treasure of the country, irrespective of their caste, creed and religion.

Speaking after inaugurating four-day mega cattle convention, ‘Gau Sammelan,’ at Rajangana, he said the sacred ancient culture of the nation, advocates respect for the cattle.

The seer added that people should stop killing the cattle and respect the animals for their sacredness and also for the benefits that humans get from them.

He said there was a need to create awareness among the people with regard to the importance of cows.

Asserting that farmers and cattle are the backbone of the nation’s progress, the seer said that organic farming, which was extensively practiced prior to 1960s, was indeed beneficial in terms of  value addition to the lives of the cattle.

The cow dung was the main component of the organic…

In the name of the cow In the name of the cow In the name of the cow

Punjab Dairy farmers see no economic benefits in switching from Holsteins to Sahiwal

Image Punjab’s dairy farmers seem lukewarm to the idea of rearing indigenous cow breeds such as Sahiwal and Gir, despite the state government launching a subsidy-cum-training scheme encouraging them to start desi cattle units.
“An average Holstein Friesian (HF) cow gives 10,000-12,000 litres of milk in a 10-month lactation cycle, whereas the yields from a desi cow are only 3,000-3,600 litres. Also, an HF calf takes just two years to mature and start producing milk, while it is three years for desi breeds,” notes Daljit Singh, who rears over 400 animals at Sardarpura village in Ludhiana’s Jagraon tehsil and is also president of Punjab’s Progressive Dairy Farmers’ Association (PDFA). Balbir Singh, a 50-cow dairy farmer from Udhowal in Nawanshahr district and general secretary of PDFA, believes it is economical to keep desi cattle only if their …

Fall in indigenous cattle population cause for concern

The steep fall in the population of indigenous cattle needs immediate attention of scientists and policy makers. This was said by Dr DK Sadana, retired head of the animal genetic resources division of the National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR), who had worked for 20 years on indigenous livestock. At the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) today to take part in the 12th Agricultural Science Congress, he said: “At present, there are only 39 breeds of indigenous cattle, out of which some are at the brink of extinction and need immediate attention to be conserved.”

Highlighting the importance of indigenous cattle as compared to the crossbreed, he said the milk of the former was superior to that of the latter besides being locally adapted and contributing to the marginal people’s livelihood.

Dr Sadana said the indigenous cattle milk carries A2 protein, which was superior to A1 protein that was found in the milk of crossbreed cattle. “A small compound of A1 pro…

Bargur Cattle Research Station sanctioned Rs. 6 crore

The Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) have started works on construction of a research station for indigenous Bargur breed cattle in the district. Levelling work is in progress on a 50-acre site provided to the University for establishing the Centre at a cost of Rs. 6 crore over a five-year period. The initial instalment of Rs. 1.37 crore has already been provided, Babu, Director of Animal Production Studies, TANUVAS, who would be inspecting the site on Thursday, said. The Centre will focus on propagating population of the indigenous breed on Bargur hills and increasing their milk yield through selective breeding, official sources said. At present, the cows of this breed yield only around two litres of milk a day. Aavin has initiated a milk society to source the milk, which at a later stage could be sold as a premium product, sources said. According to the rearers, there is a niche market for ghee, butter and other products made out of milk s…

India's next weapon against climate change? The heat-tolerant dwarf cow

THIRUVANANDHAPURAM, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Worsening heat, fodder shortages and the threat of drought are forcing many hard-hit dairy farmers in the Anantapur area of India's southern Kerala state to reduce their herds, experts say.

"This is nothing less than a catastrophe," said Ananthakrishnan Kannappan, a livestock agent for 30 years in Anantapur. "This is the first time that due to lack of water and fodder, farmers are eagerly competing to sell off their livestock for throwaway prices."

But the solution to the problem is simple and small, livestock experts argue: heat-tolerant dwarf cows.
A team of researchers from Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University and the state government's Animal Husbandry Department are now promoting a switch to Vechur and Kasargod cattle, two local varieties known for being easy to raise, resistant to diseases and – most important – better at tolerating high temperatures than the more popular…

Mela serves as eye-opener on dwindling Kangayam cattle population

The 1,000-odd years old cattle mela at Kannapuram, near Kangayam, featuring genetically pure Kangayam cattle, which came to a close this week, is yet another wake up call for the different stakeholders to reformulate the strategies to save the breed from extinction.
This year, nearly 14,700 Kangayam cattle, which include 3,400 cows and remaining bulls/ oxen/ calves, were traded at the fair.
“It is a bit disappointing to hear the figures as nearly 1,00,000 cattle used to be traded about 15 years ago at this same event. It shows that the breeding has come down. However, a good sign is that the farmers who brought the cattle got prices as high as Rs. 1.37 lakh for a pair of oxen showing that the breed still has the potential to fetch premium value,” K.S.M. Karthikeya, managing trustee of Senapathy Kangayam Cattle Research Foundation, which is involved in in-situ breeding of Kangayam cattle for six decades, told The Hindu .
According to Mr. Karthikeya, the ban on jallikattu a…

Bargur cattle rearers sceptic about expanding headcount

While appreciating the initiatives of Animal Husbandry Department to motivate preservation and propagation of indigenous breeds of cattle, rearers of Bargur variety say they have reason to be sceptic about increasing its headcount. Restrictions imposed by the Forest Department on grazing in forest land in Tamil Nadu have a direct bearing on the fall in numbers. The rearers, who have been taking their herds to Karnataka side of the border, have, of late, been finding the going tough since they are unwelcome there now, as local politicians there have allegedly started making an issue of the herds being brought in from Tamil Nadu, notwithstanding the fact that the cattle-owners belong to Kannada-speaking Lingayat community, according to Madhan, owner of two cows and an ox.
“The number of pure Bargur breed cattle on the hills does not exceed 3,000. Unlike decades ago when rearers used to own herds of 50 to 100 cows, the number has fallen to just two or three, due to grazing…

Cattle fair turns Kannapuram lively

As usual, the month of April has made the tiny and otherwise calm Kannapuram hamlet near Kangayam sprightly with farmers/breeders of ‘genetically pure’ Kangayam cattle bringing their animals for trade and display at the cattle festival that began on Tuesday.
The week-long cattle fair is held traditionally for more than 1,000 years on the sidelines of the temple car festival of the three-century old Arulmigu Mariamman temple situated in the area.
According to legend, the cattle fair became a permanent fixture after the visitors who come from far off places to attend the temple car festival started showing interest to buy the animal because they got impressed by the arrival of local people in carts pulled by sturdy Kangayam bulls. Apart from using to pull carts, the urine and dung of Kangayam cattle are used by local people for organic farming.
“Based on interests shown by visitors to buy Kangayam cattle, the local farmers/breeders then started the mela on the sidelines …

Bargur cattle exhibition on April 26

After postponement for nearly a month, the Bargur cattle exhibition, keenly anticipated by rearers on the hills, will take place on April 26.
Animal Husbandry Minister T.K.M. Chinnayya will inaugurate the exhibition in the presence of Environment Minister Thoppu N.D. Venkatachalam, senior officials, and the District Collector S. Prabakar, official sources said.
Indefinite postponement of the event scheduled earlier on March 29 was announced in view of the national mourning in honour of Singapore's founding father late Lee Kuan Yew. The rearers have been looking forward to the second edition of the event for which the prize-money has been doubled. There has been some progress in the proposal for establishment of Bargur Cattle Research Station on the hills. The announcement was made by Mr. Chinnayya at the time of the maiden exhibition during 2014.
The Revenue Department is on the verge of fulfilling the land transfer formalities for handing over 50 acres to the Tamil…

Toda buffalo conservation efforts get a boost

Efforts to conserve the Toda buffalo, a unique breed among the Indian breeds of buffaloes received a boost on Tuesday with a seminar on ‘Protection of Toda Buffaloes’ being organised under the aegis of the Department of Animal Husbandry. Presiding over the seminar The Nilgiris Collector P. Sankar underscored the role of the Toda buffalo in preserving the culture of the ancient community.
Pointing out that buffaloes touched practically every aspect of a Toda’s life, he said that it formed part of their religion.
Stating that without its buffaloes the Toda community will not be complete, Mr. Sankar regretted that the population of the buffaloes which was about 15,000 to 20,000 at one time has dwindled to less than 2000.
Adverting to the factors listed for the steep drop in population like difficulty in getting grass during the dry seasons, lack of steps to prevent diseases and attacks by carnivores, he said that steps should be taken to check them. Awareness about them shou…

Efforts on to protect cattle breed....Pulikulam breed

The Pulikulam bulls at an expo held at Muthazhagupatti near Dindigul on Thursday. — PHOTO: G. KARTHIKEYAN Their population has come down from 95,000 in 1995 to 45,000 now Even as the ban on ‘jallikattu’ poses a grave threat to survival of bulls, the State government has initiated steps to protect and promote the Pulikulam breed that provides raging bulls for the rural sport.
To propagate other uses of the Pulikulam breed among farmers and encourage bull-rearers to maintain this breed, the Department of Animal Husbandry organised a Pulikulam cattle expo at Muthazhagupatti village on Thursday. “We spend Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000 a year to maintain a ‘jallikattu’ bull,” said P. Murugan of Pillamanaickenpatti. The population of Pulikulam cattle was 95,000 in 1995 and it dwindled sharply later. A recent survey put the population at 45,000.
“Ninety nine per cent of Pulikulam cattle is bred and maintained by traditional cowherds. Such a drive is necessary to prevent bulls from …

Vechur Cow to be Micro-chipped Today

THRISSUR: The Vechur cow, a rare breed of Bos indicus cattle with an average length of 124 cm and height of 87 cm, is all set to join the elite club of the ‘micro-chipped livestock’ in the world on Monday as the authorities have made elaborate arrangements to tag the indigenous cattle species with pet microchips that uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.

The Vechur Conservation Trust, a body formed to conserve domestic animal diversity in the state, will officially begin the drive of electronically tagging Vechur cows and distributing the pedigree certificate to the owners of the cows at a function to be held in Kottayam on Monday.

Dr Sosamma Iype, Professor of Animal Breeding and Genetics, who is instrumental in popularising the Vechur breed in the country, said the Trust came forward with this venture of tagging the animals following widespread complaints of genetic pollution in the rare species of this local cow variety.

The unscrupulous middlemen i…

Vechur, Kasaragod Dwarf tolerant to heat stress

The two species endowed with protective genes, finds study Vechur cow and Kasaragod Dwarf, two popular native cattle breeds noted for their disease resistance and low maintenance, have been proved to possess thermometer genes for heat tolerance, making them ideal candidates for selective breeding.
A team of researchers from the Animal Husbandry Department (AHD) and Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU) have come up with the finding that the two species are endowed with the protective genes that make them tolerant to heat stress.
The finding is significant in the light of the imminent threat posed by global warming and climate change to livestock production in Kerala.
Presenting a research paper on the work at the National Biodiversity Congress here last week, Muhammed E.M, District Epidemiologist, Animal Disease Control Project, Kalpetta, said the findings would be useful in the selection of heat-tolerant breeds among tropical animals and using stress…

Climate change spurs positive for India: Overseas demand for indigenous cattle rises

NEW DELHI: Climate change is spurring something positive for India: growing overseas demand for indigenous cattle, which the government is keen to support. Markets from Australia to Brazil are seeking India's cattle for their resilient qualities such as tick resistance, heat tolerance and the ability to flourish even with inadequate feeds.

"There is demand for Indian cattle in the international market. Brazil and Australian want Indian breeds," agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh said. "Climate change will reduce productivity in all cattle. Drop in milk yield will be maximum in exotic breeds, not so in local Indian cattle."
The germplasm — genetic material including sperm and embryos — of cows from Gujarat's Gir to Andhra Pradesh's Ongole are some of the varieties that are in demand for their superior milk producing ability. The minister said government support could help to improve the quality of local breeds of cattle and increase mi…

Coimbatore to become home for Alanganallur bulls

About 200 bulls that tested the adrenaline rush and guts of youth at the famous Alanganallur Jallikattu will be brought to Narasipuram—about 30 km from the city—home for the rest of their lives.
Managing Trustee of the Velliangiri Goshala, Narasipuram, P. Siva said that a few days before Pongal he came to know that prize bulls worth Rs. 2 lakh, when they raced down Jallikattu tracks, were sold for about Rs. 40,000 for slaughtering as the owners of the bulls were disappointed after the sport was banned.
“Since then our team camped at villages around Madurai and studied the ways and means to protect the bulls and to prevent them from being sold for meat’’,” he said and added that four such methods met with failure.
He said that the villagers and bull owners were surprised when the trust offered to buy the animals and nurture them at their centre in Coimbatore.
He said that president of the Tamil Nadu Jallikattu Peravai P. Rajasekaran played an important role in interacting…

Kangayam breed will become extinct if ban on rekla race continues

A pair of Kangayam bulls speeding at the rekla race in Coimbatore early last year before the race was banned.— File Photo: M. Periyasamy

 More than seven months after the Supreme Court banned conducting jallikattu and rekla race, farmers and rekla race organisers of Pollachi and nearby areas are still in wait with the hope that the ban will soon be lifted. Rekla race organisers said that the Kangayam breed that was predominantly used for the race would become extinct in a few months if the ban was not lifted soon.
Rekla race organiser V. Senthil Kumar (38) said that contestants from the region used to participate in races in Dharapuram, Udumalpet, Marathukulam, Palani, Palladam, Sulur, Kinathukadavu, Vettaikaranpudur, Anamalai and vice versa. “About 250 carts participate in each race,” he said. S. Prabakran (41) of C. Arthanaripalayam near Pollachi, who has participated in over a hundred races, and organised many, said that about 100 villages in and around Pollachi use…

Kangayam cattle breeders plea to PM

Representing the breeders of renowned Kangayam cattle, the Senaapathy Kangayam Cattle Research Foundation (SKCRF) has made a representation to the Prime Minister seeking steps to file a review petition in Supreme Court for lifting the ban on jallikattu.
“People who wanted the ban on jallikattu are far removed from the village life and not aware of the importance of jallikattu in maintaining the natural biodiversity of the native livestocks like Kangayam cattle. The sport also provides a bond between cattle and agriculturists,” K. S.M. Karthikeya, a prominent Kangayam cattle conservationist and managing trustee of the SKCRF, told The Hindu.
Traditional sport He pointed out that the traditional sport like jallikattu provides an encouragement to the breeders of native livestock species like Kangayam cattle since the sturdy bull of that variety in the respective villages was used for the sport.
“Without which, the small scale farmers usually rear cows not the bulls. So rearing o…

Majestic Kangayam cattle captivate visitors at exhibition

The competition attractedover 350 categories Majesticity of hundreds of Kangayam bulls and cows was all pervasive on the AET School grounds near Thindal all through Sunday.
A carnival like atmosphere was created by enthusiastic farmers who turned up in droves with their well-grown and groomed cattle.
Biodiversity While it was a matter of immense pride for the farmers to own the sturdy cattle, they were, in fact, contributing to biodiversity, since the number was fast diminishing in the country, as the statistics provided by the rearers indicate.
According to K.S.J. Karthikeya, Managing Trustee, Senaapathy Kangayam Cattle Research Foundation, the number of the particular breed, deemed the mightiest in physical strength and stamina, has come down from 11.7 lakh in 1990 to just about one-tenth the number now. Jointly organised by the Foundation and the Kangayam Cattle Breeding Society, the exhibition- cum-competition under three categories attracted over 350 entries.
Prizes The…