Efforts on to protect cattle breed....Pulikulam breed
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 slaughter,” he added.
Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University’s Veterinary Research Centre head S. Peer Mohammad said the Pulikulam breed easily adapted to locally available low-quality feed, withstood heat and showed better resistance to tropical diseases when compared to cross-bred ones from England and The Netherlands.
“The Pulikulam cattle contribute significantly to organic farming of horticulture and spices crops through manure. They are kept overnight in fields to enrich the soil with their urine and dung. Some of the indigenous cattle breeds have become rare or endangered. Such measures will surely revive older breeds that have several unique desirable qualities,” he added.
“Our aim is to make the Pulikulam bull more farmer-friendly,” said S. Victor Jebaraj, Joint Director of Animal Husbandry.
Hundred cattle heads from Dindigul, Madurai and Sivaganga districts registered for the expo and of them 50 were chosen for display on the basis of purity. Cash award was given to well-bred animals.
Similar expos are being held to protect Kangeyam indigenous breeds in Erode and Tiruppur districts, Bargur breed in Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri and Umbalaserry cattle in Thanjavur and Tiruvarur districts.
The Breed Registration Committee of National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources under the ICAR approved Pulikulam cattle breed as an indigenous breed in 2012. It is the 35th registered indigenous cattle breed in the country.
Their population has come down from
95,000 in 1995 to 45,000 now