CHENNAI: Bovines nibbling garbage along the roadside is a common sight in most places. But the daily affair became a sensitive issue recently when the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) removed 52 kg of plastic from a cow’s stomach, despite a plastic ban in place in the state since January this year. Two reasons for this, say cattle-owners, could be cited: Dumping of garbage in the open and lack of green space in the city.
Munirathnam of Thirumullaivoyal, whose cow went through the surgery, said “Cattle tend to get very restless when tied up. So I set it loose for a few hours and in that period, it must have consumed garbage,’’ he said. Munirathnam found out that his cow, purchased from Vellore, was ill when it stopped defecating and kicked its legs quite often. After consulting doctors in his locality, he brought the cow on October 15 to TANUVAS in Chennai.
“Plastic accumulation in stomach turns into a ball. It could only be removed through surgery. When more plastic accumulates, it stops eating food, producing milk and defecating too. Also, coins, nails, and hairpins were removed from the cow’s stomach,’’ said Dr Siva Shankar, who was part of the surgery team.
Though the Corporation claimed it had collected about `14 lakh fine between April and June from owners of stray animals, including bovines, animals continue to cause a menace on the streets. This reporter has observed, for many months, about 20 cattle often wandering around the busy Wall Tax Road, at their own risk. Cattle were seen sleeping on the Mint bus terminus too.
Animal Husbandry Minister Udumalai K Radhakrishnan told Express that it was the duty of the civic body to take stringent action against public to prevent them from dumping garbage “As the city does not have much green space, we will make alternative arrangements to provide packaged fodder to cows,’’ said the Minister.
22 ‘Amma’ ambulances
Chennai: Around 22 new ‘Amma’ ambulances will soon attend to veterinary cases door-to-door from next week in the State, said Animal Husbandry Minister Udumalai K Radhakrishnan on Wednesday. ‘’All facilities such as X-ray will be in the vehicle itself. Cows can be lifted into the vehicles with ease too,’’ said the Minister. People can call 1962 to avail the service. Earlier, the minister inquired about the health of the cow from which 52 kg of plastic was removed.
Addressing reporters, the Minister said, ‘’I request people to be responsible as animals can’t differentiate between plastic and food. The government is also planning to make awareness videos against plastic, for animal safety,” he added. He lauded the TANUVAS and doctors for the surgery. ‘’Daily, 250-300 pet animals come to this university,”’ said the Minister.