Breeding Fraud:Vechur Cows to Be Electronically Tagged
By Dhinesh Kallungal | Published: 24th December 2013 07:30 AM |
The Vechur Conservation Trust, a body formed to conserve domestic animal diversity in the state, is planning to electronically tag all Vechur cows in the country with microchips to check the ‘genetic pollution’ among the breed.
Dr Sosamma Iype, Professor of Animal Breeding and Genetics, who was instrumental in popularising the Vechur breed in the country, told Express that the Trust has initiated steps in this regard and would soon submit a Detailed Project Report to the Animal Husbandry Department and the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University.
“The decision was taken following a series of complaints of genetic pollution of the species, after calves of Vechur cow bred with local ox varieties were sold as Vechur cows in the market,” Dr Sosamma said. There were only around 3,000 Vechur cows, a rare breed of Bos indicus cattle with an average length of 124 cm and height of 87 cm, in the country.
“But of late, some unscrupulous businessmen have been indulging in an immoral business of cross-breeding Vechur cows, disregarding the side-effects, and selling them as pure Vechur cows,” she said.
The KVASU had stopped accepting bookings for the purchase of animal, around four years ago, as it could not meet the demand. The Vechur breed had found a place in the ‘Critical-Maintained Breeds List’ of the FAO’s World Watch List of Domestic Animal Diversity in 2000. The KVASU has also started exploring possibilities to broaden the base stock of the animal in its cattle sheds in the state through ‘cloning’ as conventional breeding has certain limitation when it comes to meeting the demand, said Dr K R Raghavan of KVASU. However, the University is yet to take a final decision on it, he said.
Dr B Asok, Vice-Chancellor of the KVASU, said it’s time that cloning is utilised to augment Vechur cow population, as the breed is disease-resistant. However, he said the cloning project is likely to be delayed as the team entrusted with developing conservation measures for the Vechur cow has not performed well.