Cock and Bull Story!

The Cock and Bull Story of Kerala’s Cattle-Development Policy
November 26, 2013 by Cowherd

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Men are generally more troublesome than women. Males are more prone to aggression, boisterousness, crime and violence. They are also more difficult to control. Men also tend to eat/consume more than women and as such are more expensive to maintain. Putting these facts together and adding on the cost-benefit analysis too, it will be safe to assume that men drain the exchequer. In the current scenario of food shortage and economic depression can any state go on wasting more resources on men? For a more peaceful society with lesser economic drain, men have to go; they have to be banished, rendered useless or eliminated. The institution of marriage has to be banned; a total ban on sex has to be called for. All men have to be castrated save a few outstanding specimens like Brad Pitt, Daniel Craig, Imran Khan, David Beckam, Usain Bolt, Salman Rushdie and Narayanamurthy; they can be maintained specially by the state. The semen of these men has to be collected, branded and distributed through hospitals, medical stores and sperm banks at a premium. Women wishing to bear children can go choose from the list and opt for artificial insemination. The male children born in this way have to be castrated or eliminated. Girl children can be maintained. For a period 25 years only the semen from the above set of men will be supplied, after which these men are eliminated and a new set brought in.
How does the idea strike you? Idiotic, implausible or outrageous?
It may sound all the above to us mortals, but for the geniuses of the Kerala Government and it’s Animal Husbandry Department this is the ideal way of developing and improving a breed. No, I am not exaggerating one bit; the cattle development policy of Kerala State has been framed exactly along the same lines. It’s a shame that this law, in existence for the past 52 years, has failed to prick the conscience of a state that boasts of 100% literacy.
Any action based on abysmal thinking and dismal planning naturally will lead only to results that are disastrous; as is evident from where the State’s breeds stand now
There is only one 100% genuine & pure cattle breed in Kerala, and the only reason why it’s is so is because the Policy makers or the Veterinary experts had absolutely no role in the development of this breed.
A look at the happenings in cattle-field, the causes and effects of Govt policy on cattle, ever since the State was formed, will tell the story.
Like the rest of the nation, Kerala also started with the traditional agrarian economy. Agrarian economies are heavily dependent on their cattle, this being the case, cattle were always part of their culture and heritage they always took great pride in maintaining their breeds. Cattle could never be separated from agriculture; both complemented each other and were seen as one.
Contrary to popular belief the Vechur was not the only breed of Kerala. From Kanyakumari to Kasaragode, there are several breeds of cattle each belonging to the local area. The Kasaragode Dwarf, the Vadakara-Dwarf, the Wayanadan spotted cow, and the high range dwarf cattle belonging to different hill stations. It is not surprising that all the above breeds along with the Vechur share the same DNA. These breeds are all small sized and adaptation to different conditions produced minor physical differences in them.
These dwarf cattle fulfilled their roles to perfection. They were backyard animals, so easy and light on maintenance. They performed the dual roles of supporting agriculture as well as the domestic requirements. They could survive on a very small diet and yet provide the owner enough dung and urine for his farm along with 1-2 litres of medicinal milk.
Then came the industrial revolution, it’s effects were global and it was only a matter of time before it was thrust on Kerala too. Lack of vision, imagination and brains made the policy makers ape the west blindly. The conventional wisdom on cattle was rubbished. Suddenly the local breeds were projected as ‘inferior’ and ‘useless’ animals, as they provided only about 2-3 litres compared to the 20-30 litres that their foreign counterparts produced. Simultaneously, the false notion that milk was needed to consumed in large quantities for health, was spread. Previously, in the Desi-Cow phase, only children and pregnant women were asked to consume milk, for the rest half a spoon of ghee or 1-2 spoons of curd would suffice.
Armed with the new propaganda the state Govt quickly established how essential it was increase milk production in the interest of public health. The Indo-Swiss project was initiated shortly. The Kerala Govt sought the collaboration of the Swiss Govt to bring in the Swiss Browns that yielded 30 litres of milk a day. Suddenly the local breeds were viewed as a threat to milk production. One of the conditions that the Swiss side insisted on was a total elimination of the local breeds. According to them surviving desi-breeds posed two problems, they would not only reduce the milk production but also posed the danger of adulterating the foreign breeds. Thus born was the draconian law The Kerala Livestock Improvement Act 1961 (keralalawsect.org/acts/Act1968/a … 8/Act.html).
This act forbids anyone from rearing of bulls capable of reproduction. It effectively brings about killing of bulls as no one would want a bull that could not reproduce.
A state sponsored crackdown on bulls followed. If anyone was rearing a bull the Live-stock inspector authorized by the AH Dept would castrate it forcibly. Thus the only way to breed cattle was by Artificial Insemination (AI). For the past 52 years cattle from Kerala have been denied the rights to mate, can you believe?
Within no time the native breed population dwindled. Only very few bulls survived, they were the ones in remote inaccessible places or the Temple Bulls.
The decline of the native breeds marked the decline of farming and milking. Basically, it turned these self-reliant sustainable ventures into heavily externally dependent activity on which the owner/entrepreneur had little control. The low-maintenance, hardy, local breeds that provided farm inputs were gone and in place came high-maintenance hybrid cattle. The small and marginal farmers could never feed these breeds solely from their farm grown stuff. This necessitated purchase of expensive cattle feed from outside. This apart the framers experienced that they could not maintain soil fertility with exotic breeds as they used to with the desi-breed, a fact which tests were to confirm decades later. This also forced them to buy farm inputs from outside. Sustainability of farming went for a toss. Likewise, the milk farmers also needed to buy expensive inputs to keep these big breeds going. The situation would worsen in the years and self-sufficient farmers would be turned to be slaves of the system, with no chance of escape.
With Artificial Insemination being the only option, the seed sovereignty of the farmer/cattle herder was lost. There was this huge uproar over Monsanto’s terminator seeds in the state, but most people including all the intellectuals who had led these protests didn’t seem to realise that the State had been following the same policy in the cattle-sector for decades together!
Years went by, the Swiss-Brown made way for the Jersey and the Jersey to the Holstein-Friesians, but these changes failed to change the fortunes of the farmer. The cold country breeds struggled away from home conditions. The slightest Sun would make them weak and froth. Semen from select bulls would be distributed al over the state for extended periods. Up to 5 succeeding generations were inseminated with same semen, resulting in heavy inbreeding. In the beginning of the Indo-Swiss project the milk yield of the Swiss brown was recorded at 30 litres. Today the average yield as admitted by the Govt stands at 7 litres.
Science, technology, specialists, veterinary experts, Govt Backing and crores of funds; utilising all the above for 50 years the progress has been backwards, from 30 to 7 litres, it requires exceptional ability to achieve this!
Dairying was no longer a viable option; neither could people go back to desi- breeds as these breeds were extinct due cross breeding.
By the mid-nineties ‘new’ facts started trickling in, especially the findings of western research. Cattle were categorized into two. Bos Indicus and Bos Taurus. Bos Indicus is the native Indian and African cattle that has a pronounced hump, dew-lap etc and Bos Taurus the European breeds like the Jersey, Swiss brown, Holsteins etc. Further studies confirmed that most of Bos Taurus -milk contains an element called BCM 7 that is harmful for health, and causes, obesity, hypertension and heart disease in human beings. At the same time the Bos Indicus- milk is completely free from all this and is excellent for health.
thebovine.wordpress.com/2009/03/ … re-bought/
reps.chelseagreen.com/files/pdf/Woodford.pdf
Findings also explained why Bos Indicus is indispensable for farming and soil fertility. While the One gram of dung of European breed contains 50-70 lakh microbes, one gram of native breed’s dung contains 300-500 crore beneficial microbes that aid soil fertility. The thing that makes this magic possible in the Native breeds is the ‘ Surya Ketu Nadi’ situated along the spine, from the neck to tail of it. The Surya Ketu Nadi enables these breeds to absorb and utilise the sun rays better. Now this feature is completely absent in their foreign cattle. Need we say more on great treasures that were destroyed completely?
Another revelatory bit was that the modern practice of Artificial Insemination poses threat to the cows, bulls and finally the humans who consume milk. Mother Nature knows all, and has the best plans and designs of all. As patient as she is with her children, she does not approve of interferences of any kind. When the tampering with nature crosses the limit, it boomerangs on you. Though Mother Nature does not consciously seek revenge, any action against her, first hit us, her dependents. AI severely affects the breed quality in addition to making way for diseases like IBR. The quality, the breed characteristics and attributes of the progeny from natural mating are far superior to the ones through AI. Repeated AI attempts also causes tumors in the Cow’s uterus, apart from rendering them unproductive after 3 calvings.
AI also remains the root cause for diseases like IBR (Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis). The virus normally doesn’t survive in room temperature but does in semen that is stored in low temperatures. Cows become carriers for life, pass it on to calves and finally to the people consuming it’s milk. Studies conducted show that 60% of the dairy cattle in the nation are infected with IBR. The symptoms on cattle are – constantly running nose, loss of energy, inability to conceive etc. The weekly colds that affect most commercial milk consumers is found to be due the IBR virus.
Brazil has turned to the traditional Indian way of cattle rearing, after a lot of research. 80% of their cattle comprise of Indian Breeds. They also favour natural breeding using bulls, let cattle graze instead of stall feeding ,as this found to be the most effective way of rearing.
Anxious to cover-up, in the wake of the new findings, the Dept and it’s babus started a conservation plan for the Native breed. Accordingly, the Vechur, a dwarf breed of Southern Kerala was decided to be saved. What followed was a farce. 30 animals that were closest to the Vechur were identified. Note that pure Vechurs were gone; the ones closest to the Vechur were the 70-80% Vechurs with a 20-30% Jersey or S.Brown mix. These 30 animals were taken and further bred using AI. 5-6 generations down all the progeny looked standard for the simple reason that they were all repeatedly inseminated using the same semen sample! This is the much hyped about Vechur breed of Kerala now!
To date the same policy is followed. Vechur bulls selected for semen-collection are maintained for 5 years, then sent for killing and replaced by another lot. For a period of 5 years all the Vechur Cows in the country get inseminated by the semen from the same set of bulls. How can breed selection and improvement happen?
The only breed in Kerala that is pure and remains untouched is the Kasaragode Dwarf breed. There are farming communities in the remote areas of Kasaragode who were not greedy and hence not tempted by the promises of Jersey/Swiss Brown/Holstein revolution. In these communities, the cattle breeds are part of cultural heritage, and people remained staunchly committed to their breeds. These breeds have been in existence for at least 150 years. Cattle are members of their family and care is taken not to let in-breeding happen. These cattle have amazing qualities and attributes, are extremely intelligent, hardy and interact with humans beautifully. The milk from these Cows has been tested and found to be the finest in the world. It’s got a higher ratio of digestive enzymes and can be substituted for mother milk for orphaned infants.
Some glaring contradictions of the Kerala AHD Policy
ahd.kerala.gov.in/docs/rti_2_3_12.pdf
Page 2, The first mentioned among the Functions and Duties of the Organisation is
“Strengthening the livestock population of the state both in terms of number and quality”.
How can this be possible without strengthening the native breed population along with improvement of the breed? Obviously the strengthening of population happens only with the hybrid breeds, no such measures have taken for the native breeds. If quality of animal and milk is a criteria nothing comes close to the native breed.
Similarly, Page 3, No.9 of the stated objectives of the Department is “to conserve local breeds pertaining to livestock and poultry farming”
Now, how can conservation of local breeds be legal as well as practical with Livestock Improvement Act 1961 still in force? Breeds cannot be saved without Bulls, since bulls capable of reproduction are illegal; conservation also becomes an illegal activity! How can conservation be done by the public without bulls? The 1961 Act works against the stated objective of conservation and is a hindrance to proper conservation.
Take conservation of local breeds, whether Department led or otherwise; Where, why and how does anyone get the first specimen to be collected? If the KLD Improvement Act 1961 was implemented and enforced to 100% efficiency, no local Cow or Bull of would have survived; technically no local breed should be available for conservation. Here conservation became reality only because of the violation of the 1961 Act.
As for the intentions of the AHD, Kerala, it is reminiscent of the Taliban – Buddha Statue episode of 2001. For those who can’t recollect the event- The Hindu-Kush mountains of Afghanistan, housed two 150 ft tall Buddha Statues that were 1700 year old archeological monuments. Taking exception to anything that was foreign to their culture, the Taliban tried to destroy it by anti-air craft and tank fire. These bids failed. But the rest of the world pleaded on bended knees to spare the cultural/archeological treasures. Several offers were made, assuring the Taliban that if the statues offended them, they could be removed and relocated out of their country in shortest possible time. The UN intervened, Kofi Annan, the then UN Secretary General met the Taliban Foreign minister and pleaded that the statues not be destroyed. The Taliban were unmoved or rather moved to the extreme. Possessed with the power to bully the rest of the world, the Taliban did the only thing they were capable of doing. In what was complete justice to their brains, they drilled holes throughout the torsos of the statues, filled dynamite in them and blew them up in such fashion that not even the remains of the statues could be of use to the rest of the world.
The 1961 KLD Improvement Act  ranks a more shameful crime than the Taliban one. The Taliban destroyed what they believed was an alien heritage, but the Kerala AHD had no qualms destroying Kerala’s own heritage sitting in Kerala, right in front of it’s people.
The trends in the worldwide cattle scene are fast changing. Now everyone is shifting to Bos Indicus. 70% of Brazilian Cattle population is now made up of the Indian breed, Gir. New Zealand also plans to move to Indian breeds in big way. Indian breeds are picked up at a premium by breeders from overseas. The Gir which costs about 50,000/- to 60,000/- in India is bought at Rs2,50,000/- by the western countries. Gujarat has already banned export of the Gir. Similarly the Ongole (from which the famous American Brahman breed was derived) is picked up at 5 lakhs per pair. As I am typing this, the Kerala Govt/AHD Dept is working on a scheme. Guess what? Importing bulls from France to improve the milking breeds in Kerala!
Talk of shamelessness, and then crops up this old Malayalam saying, which I am not going to reproduce here for obvious reasons. To give you a milder interpretation of it – There’s this good-for-nothing person who is sitting and doing nothing. Meanwhile a Pipal starts germinating on his backside. Now, you’d expect this person to get up embarrassed and remove it at once. Instead, he just chooses to sit there flaunt it as a decoration, and wants to let it grow, hoping to make use of it’s shade and cover. Can you beat this?!! Now, no one can live upto this saying as much as the Kerala AHD Dept.
One need not be Doctor, dietician, nutritional specialist to lead a healthy life, similarly one need not be an agricultural scientist to grow a good home garden, neither does one need to be an Institution, Specialist or Veterinary expert to develop and maintain a good cattle breed. Forget what the State or AH dept tell you, just get a group of like-minded people, adhere to the traditional wisdom of breeds and selection, be passionate about your breeds, hold them close to your heart and provide them with lots of love; they will reciprocate several fold.

” The author Cowherd  is a go-sevak committed to the Kasaragode Dwarf Breed”.

“The views expressed are purely that of the author”[/quote]
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Source: naturalfarmerskerala.com/effects … ng-policy/[/b]

Thanks. The author is our own member anoop

Correction: The blog is anoop’s, the post is cowherd’s!

Chandra,

This article is authored by another member of this forum. "Cowherd"
http://farmnest.com/forum/profile/?u=375

Ah ok, the thought crossed my mind, but I thought you were inspired by cowherd that you chose the same name there. And I didn’t know our own cowherd contributes to your blog!

Chandra

ok.  :slight_smile:

Thank you Mr.Chandra Our state of Andhra Pradesh is not Inferior to that of  Kerala. If any one announce Prizes in the field inferiority among the  States in India  , in the Field of Agriculture,Horticulture ,Animal Husbandry our State of Andhra Pradesh will get FIRST Rank. Foe Example the subsidized Prices of Farm inputs are equivalent to that of the Open Market as per my experience.

MANNE.Sn,
Vasudha Green Farms,
09133498366.

Wow, Amazing info.