KMC prefers cows to oxenAs the metropolis’ attempt at controlling the presence of stray bovines on the roads by impounding them has failed, the city authority has decided to control the sex of the newborns.
As the metropolis’ attempt at controlling the presence of stray bovines on the roads by impounding them has failed, the city authority has decided to control the sex of the newborns.
The Kathmandu Metropolitan City said it will provide sexed semen to cattle farmers to inseminate matured young cows, by which they will only be bear with female calves.
“We will work with the District Livestock Services Office to provide sexed semen to cattle farmers,” said Dhanapati Sapkota, chief of the KMC’s Enforcement Division.
In addition, animal markets, where traders can freely buy and sell animals, and Kanji houses, shelter homes where impounded animals are kept until they are claimed by their owners, are planned for the Capital. There are none in the entire Valley now, said Sapkota, adding that the KMC would work towards establishing them soon.
According to Sapkota, the KMC rounds up around 500 stray cows and oxen every year. According to the city authority, there are 120 barns in the metropolis with around 1,200 animals in total.
Owners are known to release male calves and cows that are sick, old and which stop giving milk. They wander through the streets causing traffic congestion, in addition to polluting the roads with their excreta. Moreover, the KMC blames the cattle for the destruction of saplings it planted along the streets of the Capital as part of the city greenery campaign. But as cows are worshipped by the Hindus, who form a majority of Nepal’s population, they are left undisturbed, let alone killed for meat.
As stray animals have long been a public nuisance in the Valley, the KMC rounds them up and puts them up for auction every Sunday. But there is a different long-term solution. “Ninety-five percent of the cattle captured by us are oxen,” said Sapkota, who is also the head of the Municipal Police.
“In the 500 animals we auction every year, hardly 25 are female,” he said. “So we need to make sure that cows give birth to female calves more often.” Due to religious beliefs, farmers in the Valley do not use oxen to plough fields. This is another reason why oxen are often unwanted in Kathmandu.
The KMC has allocated Rs35 million for its upcoming fiscal year for controlling stray animals. The metropolis has also made it mandatory for owners to register their animals.