Abandoned animals hinder traffic in Kullu – Manali valley

Kullu: It is not only  monkeys or wild boars but abandoned animals are also becoming a sources of harassment in entire Kullu valley. Non-availability of sufficient fodders because of the snow and temperature dipping below freezing points have driven all the abandoned cows and bulls lower into the valley and are found in large numbers along roads and near townships.

In fact, the trend started among the valley villagers a few years ago when they felt that  cows and oxen were of no use anymore and could abandon the animals so as to save on providing for feeding and fodder for the animals.

With most of the agricultural lands converted into the apple orchards, the farmers are increasingly neglecting and abandoning farm animals. In these circumstances abandoned animals are forced to move from one place to another in search of fodder.

Besides several animals depend on the non- biodegradable waste lying in the town area of the valley which leads to the painful and slow death of these merciful animals. Many animals on their way to look for feed and fodder are even killed on the roads by speeding vehicles.

There have been instances that these stray animals have become the reason for serious accidents and in some cases the luxury cars of tourists have been damaged badly. The stray animals also damage the crops of the farmers.

Interestingly, the district administration has closed its eyes on this vital issue and has shifted its responsibility to the animal welfare society here. Hardly any steps have been taken to solve this vexed issue.

“These animals have been destroying our standing maize and barley crops by entering fields but we have none to blame since some selfish villagers from among us have abandoned these poor animals. There are more than 1000 neglected animals in entire Kullu valley increasing every year” revealed Joginder Rana of Karjan village of Manali while speaking to Hill Post.

Vinod Kumar an animal lover from Manali while talking to Hill Post said “The govt. should register the animals specially Cows & Oxen’s by allotting tag numbers to the animals and launching a campaign at village level to stop the villagers from abandoning the animals”.

He added “It was a social evil as well as cruelty towards animals to abandon them like this. If no steps are taken to stop this bad trend, abandoning animals may fall in the hands of butchers outside the state”.

Vinod stressed upon opening of Gau Shalas in the entire Kullu valley to secure and care the abandoned animals.

Its is significant to mention here that a temporary Gau Shala was opened by Sher Singh Thakur with the assistance of Manali Nagger Panchayat Ex- President Parveen Fakay and Sanjeev Sharma, an social activist from Vashisht village, few years back at Manali but due to inadequate space to accommodate growing numbers of abandoned animals and shortage of fodder the Gau Shala was closed

Sanjay Dutta, an engineer by qualification but is a journalist by choice. He has worked for the premier new agency Press Trust of India and leading English daily Indian Express. With more than a decade of experience, he has been highlighting issues related to environment, tourism and other aspects affecting mountain ecology. Sanjay Dutta lives in a village close to Manali in Kullu valley of Himachal.

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