The cock and bull story of Kerala’s cattle-development policy – Part 2

This article is continuation of The cock and bull story of Kerala’s cattle-development policy

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.

Vechur Cows contaminated with Jersey and Swiss Brown

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

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.

Kerala Livestock Development Improvement Act Destroyed Native Cattle

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”

This article has 25 Comments
  1. Wonderfully informative essay! It’s heartbreaking to know how the principles espoused by our Oxford educated and pro-science leaders of our country with claims of working for the common man have ignored their very constituent’s knowledge when formulating and enforcing policies that effect their lives. Sadly it’s not just their lives is it? Now it’s a problem for the whole of humanity.
    Well done!

    1. The problem is that communism, socialism, capitalism are to me the same, anti nature, anti Mother Earth.

      The thinkers of these systems were racist. Racism means, not respecting the world cultures all rooted in nature respect and thus deeming them as inferior.

      And yet Indian decision makers kept looking to them for direction, because our education system was controlled by them. To look to people who see you as a savage and would never love you? Mother Earth only loves us.

    2. “These cattle have amazing qualities and attributes, are extremely intelligent, hardy and interact with humans beautifully.” I can vouch for this since four of these naughty ones are part of my family ! “provide them with lots of love; they will reciprocate several fold.” ABSOLUTELY. I can show you photos of these kids (we have three generations – mother, daughter, grandson) loitering inside the house. My husband has literally adopted the MahaBharatha dictum ‘Gavam madhye Vasamyaham’ Live amidst (encircled by) cows.

  2. Despicable, greedy, short sighted idiots! I can’t begin to imagine how these bureaucratic imbeciles justified robbing our farmers of their livelihood! Some Swiss jerks came to push their cattle on us, and we, with our heads-up-our-ass, rubbished our heritage and threw it away!

    Aaaarrrghhhh!! I’m frothing at the mouth thinking of the injustice!!

    What can we do now? Can we hunt them down and kill them? That won’t help will it? How do we change this? Need to find a way…

  3. sad story. thank you for the insight in Kerala dairying. Hope farmers understand and switch to native breeds. God bless you and your cows.

  4. Yes, as Vimal Nair asks what do we do now is the question that arises in my mind too. The situation is same for the entire country, not just Kerala. All the more reason, we need to seriously find some answers . . . quickly.

  5. Very informative…..
    Big inspiration for beginners like me…
    I am ready to conserve bulls to stop AI and there by save our Native breeds quality, there by save our MOTHER EARTH for coming generations.

    let us fit to cancel the 1961 Act.

  6. Anoop thanks for capturing cowherd’s comments in your blog.

    Cowherd is as usual a fantastic and very informative writer. I have read and reread each and every article of his (I hope so 🙂 ).
    THANK YOU brother cowherd!! Can’t say it enough and please keep sharing.

    I would recommend each and everyone of you to read Cowherd’s posts on natural farming and particularly regarding “Endosulphan” disasters at farmnest.com

    Anoop, Cowherd and others
    It is such a shame that the officials/planners absolutely throw away thousands of years of rich Indian wisdom, such excellent animals, native plants that India has been bestowed with, without any deep understanding, caution or foresight about the impact of their actions. Even hard to digest is that the population lets it happen.
    Unfortunately we cannot go back to the past and undo these horrendous mistakes despite how badly we want to do it.

    What I would like to ask is, how we can help correct the situation? Given the omnipresence of TV, print media, can’t those be tapped in any way? Unfortunately just restricting to digital media does not help. It has to happen through TV. Masses to have hear this, take notice and action. I would love for someone to do a deep interview with Cowherd about these issues (series would be even better to tap into his vast knowledge). Any one with TV contacts?

    I plan to return shortly from US and raise a few native cows in a farm. As I drive across the deserts in Nevada etc, I keep listening about the delays in starting up of solar plants in this area to help preserve few desert plants. I stopped my car to look at the plants they are talking about and I barely see few small plants across many Sq. Kms of land. THIS IS THE AMOUNT OF IMPORTANCE THEY ATTACH TO PRESERVING EVERYTHING. And here we are, absolutely destroying our wealth without any thought.

    Change is constant and we must embrace changes, new ideas etc. However, due diligence and caution is needed. As the wise saying goes, do not throw away water in your hands for the rains yet to come.

    Even if it is a small step, we must start and sustain our efforts to preserve and restore our treasures. Jai Hind!

    1. We don’t need solar panels etc that are costly to maintain. Can we stop constantly imitating the west for everything? They keep damaging the country.

      Light is given to us for free by the sun and moon. Wake up 4am and finish all your work during daylight hours. Be at home when it gets dark. Make use of moonlight.

      People are over consuming energy because they are out late nights siting in clubs, bars, driving with headlights on. If people did not engage in these unnecessary nightlife behaviors we would save tremendous energy. Why can’t people plan to have fun during daylight hours only? Maybe public places should open at 4 am?

      1. India is the shadow of the west. When the west moves we are the dark shadow on the ground to follow it. Can’t we be our own light?

        Whenever I see Indians discussing solutions to these problems, all the time a white person is there spying on the process. And whenever an Indian proposes a solution, often it comes from a Western source. They have no mind of their own.

        When India kept the West out for decades, mentally they remained in the minds of decision makers Indian in appearance, but white in consciousness, it didn’t matter if they wore a mundu, dhoti, veshti, thundu, kurta or turban, they were mentally white people, who wear the same bleached white cloth. If you look at an Indian legislature all you see is a sea of white clad men. White in consciousness, white in attire.

        When the British came to India they would brainwash the little boy princes at birth by having white nannies raise them. Then when they grew into a prince the British sat behind the boy dictating everything through him. He had no mind of his own, he was sadly raised to be a puppet. The so called educated Indians are not educated they’re just puppets or dummies the West speaks through or pulls the strings on.

        Gandhi had a brilliant idea. If a psychopath starts dictating to everyone to do something illogical, show the power to say no.

        1. It is unconstitutional or illegal to go against the will of a person and to force them to do something by coercion or threat of violence or arrest. The people who claim to enforce the law are actually forcing everyone to break the law! And therefore those who accuse others of being criminals are actually the criminals themselves forcing everyone to break the law inspired by the supreme law which is dharma. Why we are giving our power to these people? They are extracting power out of us to use it against us. Gandhi had a simple message, if it goes against dharma don’t do it. Say no.

          Why a minority of psychopaths are forcing everyone to become a psychopath like them? If tax dollars are being used to buy weapons to be used against their own tax payers then don’t pay taxes. Why pay someone to harm you? Yet we blindly pay the taxes. If people do out of fear and not knowledge that will have asuric or demonic effect. This is the root problem, we are not acting with knowledge. Therefore these demonic effects are going on.

          When we go to temple we blindly give donation money not knowing what they actually do with that money. Instead of giving money offer to buy something of real need like flowers. Money can be abused, but a flower you personally offer can’t. Many temples eliminated their native breed cow herds and replaced them with import breeds because someone got money awarded to them for every native breed cow they eliminated. The temple cow sheds are in terrible condition with very unhappy cows constantly tied up. Public money is financing misery within the temple and within the society because it seems politicians are pocketing the donation money since temples are controlled by the government. They are using good to finance evil.

          Society is not becoming more intelligent, a famous economist stated that the more specialized an economy becomes, the more stupid people become because they lack common sense and general knowledge. People don’t even know how to take care of themselves. Politicians or many professionals don’t even know how to cook tasty nutritious food or understand basic nutritional chemistry or how to grow food for themselves or raise a happy healthy child. When a maid is doing everything for you, how can you know the realities of food and nutrition? They are bald, pot bellied with dysfunctional families and yet they are making health decisions for us and yet they can’t even take care of their own health? Balding, obesity pot bellied stomachs, burping are due to nutritional deficiencies. Yet, they claim there is food? We have a famine going on, because the definition of food is not something that has the physical appearance of food, food has to nutritionally function like food to be called food. Since most food produced lacks this, we are technically having a famine, in a different form. We have generated a lot of garbage food based on a garbage science.

          Every time we mass produce food according to western production models, we destroy its nutritional value and hide the rancid noxious smell with synthetic fragrances and deodorization. It is made to appear like food, but within the body it doesn’t nutritionally function like food and therefore is not real food but a maya an illusion of food. It doesn’t have the shakti or life sustaining energy. Mass production of food therefore goes against dharma.

          1. We have millionaire celebrities who look malnourished and starved. There is only so much makeup, wig wearing, skin bleaching, hair dying a person can do to hide their nutritional deficiencies. Most beauty products and beauty parlors are not about promoting beauty but hiding nutritional deficiencies, not curing them, but prolonging them making them worse. Gray hair, dark circles, thin hair, split ends, balding, pot bellies, skin spots dry skin, acne, bad breath, yellowing teeth, cavities are all due to nutritional deficiencies or related. The rise in the sales of such beauty products is a sign there is a alarming rise in nutritional deficiencies, not a rise in more beautiful people. Don’t you think this is a sign of famine?

            People are too scared to eat food because they fear it won’t metabolize or digest. So it just sits in the body collecting doing nothing, as stored fat, thus making you fat. So they starve themselves, and whatever food they do end up eating still makes them nutritionally deficient. Don’t you think this is a sign of famine? And this is occurring among all people, even the most wealthy. So when there is famine in the house of a millionaire don’t you think this is a sign the current food production model is a problem, a myth, an illusion?

    2. “how we can help correct the situation?”
      Indian consumers need to stop consuming Western lifestyle products made with milk. Anything:
      -baked
      -with cheese
      -with chocolate
      -with milk like coffees, teas
      -with butter
      -with cream or ice cream

      If you notice,the majority of these foods are not necessities for human nutrition and are mainly junk foods. Pizza, burgers with cheese, pasta with cheese, chocolates, desserts, pastries, birthday cakes, mochas, lattes, movie theater popcorn, ice creams, cream filled desserts and gelatos….I’ve noticed Indian women are baking more and making such products at home even. this is how the milk is over consumed. I can elaborate more, but doing so over writing can overwhelm.

      Traditionally milk was consumed seasonally, not year round in the form of ghee, buttermilk, and curd.

      1. We need to have more imagination when we think of milk. Import breed cow milk is consumed in ways we don’t realize.
        Often we are manipulated into consuming cow milk in forms we least expect that are unnecessary. This is creating immense strain and misery for cows.

        Breast feeding can help cut down on unnecessary cow milk consumption.

        Babies are not breast fed these days, instead baby formula is given to them which I think is import breed cow milk. A lot of milk consumed is not fresh, but in powdered form that is reconstituted with water. Many pediatricians are asking females to breast feed because human breast milk gives more immunity power to the child. Yet, females need loving guidance and help from their elders to teach them how to manage this. Many babies are not nursed directly by their mothers they are given to a nanny or mother in law or grandmother to do so. So females are not knowing how to nurse a child, they are not with the child after delivery, so they buy baby formula probably made from import breed cow milk so someone else can also feed the child.

        Avoid unnecessary gimmicky products promising you healthier body etc. backed by fake science, endorsed by actors who play the role of fake doctors in ads etc. There is real science and fake science. Often the science promoted on TV is fake science.

        Many products sold as protein powder or whey protein comes from the leftover water from cheese making. People who drink health drinks, sports drinks, do body building etc buy these powders sold in giant containers. This I think these are unnecessary to buy.

        People think eating cheese is vegetarian, but actually cheese is made from milk that is coagulated by an acid I think and this acid comes from the stomach or intestinal lining of an animal. It’s called rennet. Many rennets are animal derived and I doubt it comes from a living animal. And yet one of the most popular foods among Indians especially vegetarians is pizza and I don’t think it’s purely vegetarian. It must having rennet in it. This left over rennet might be in the protein powders or whey powders mentioned above and even butter because many butters are made from the left over solids from the water leftover from cheese making. So eating cheese or by products of cheese making may not be vegetarian.

        Elders please stop gifting chocolates, cookies and ice creams to the children! You are not making them healthy, but more obese by doing so. It’s not a sign of love, but ignorance. Express love in other ways, go to a flower show, buy fruits instead for the children. Come up with creative alternatives. Or no need for gift, your presence is the ultimate present as they say on the wedding cards I get these days that insist on no gifts. I will be honest, someone told me every time they get a gift they donate it or throw it, it’s too much to manage in an overly cluttered house, and often what is gifted is not needed. Often I see chocolates given by people trying to get rid of the chocolates someone else gave them. Please don’t buy the chocolates. Even gift cards that are gifted are given away to companies for cash. Now imagine the cow is producing milk for things essentially thrown away or not wanted.
        Farmers produce a lot of food but they don’t know what happens to that food. A lot of it is misused or thrown away.

        We have a lifestyle problem that is creating this unnecessary consumption of milk and other things. Let’s think alternatives. Ask yourself do you really need this?

        1. Cheese is made by adding rennet which is a complex of enzymes (enzymes is the proper word, not acid as I wrote above). Rennet is obtained from the inner lining of a baby cow used for veal production. Veal is meat from baby cow. So Indian vegetarians think twice before eating pizza, pasta, or anything with cheese.

  7. We are among the fast disappearing folks who care for a cow in our home in keeping with tradition. For the last 15 years we have struggled to maintain the byre clean, feed and look after the cow, milk and persuade neighbours to buy fresh milk. I realize that our difficulties are to a large extant due to a. We want plenty of milk without thinking if we need it at all or what it costs b. The new breeds are just milkers , but otherwise useless c. By curtailing their natural grazing and breeding instincts the cows have become weak and lack resistance to common ailments d. Everybody is forced to follow the recommendations of AHD , since very few people have the experience and inclination to practice sustainable dairying. This piece was very informative. Kudos to Cowherd.

  8. “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.”

    India should not allow the sale of its native cattle breed. These countries are using them for beef production. Why subject them to cruelty once more out of their homeland without local Indians who actually cared for them to monitor their safety?

  9. Very informative article…It reminds me of a similar episode narrated by Shri P.Sainath in his book ‘Everybody Loves a Good Drought’ in context of Odisha. I guess the story is all over India due to implementation of such stupid policy.

  10. Thank you Cowheard for creating a greater awareness about the subject, my personal interaction with you was equally insightful, shall continue to haunt you as a good neighbour and keen student.You are doing a great service to all of us Indians, in particular.
    The organic coffee from your plantation was amazing, will come back for more.
    Cheers
    sachin

  11. Very informative.
    Is this Kerala livestock act of 1962 still valid?
    I am not related to any kind of farming.Got strayed while looking for Jallikettu related information.

    1. Yes its still valid. However its possible to keep bulls illegally.

      As they don’t make a fuzz about it nowadays. But if every where it starts then the veterinary dept will start messing up as AI and other allied activities are their source of lively hood and job now.
      I don’t see anytime soon Kerala cow and bull rearing culture getting back in shape.

  12. Namaskaram

    Very foolish act which destroyed our native breeds and killed farming in Kerala. My grand parents were farmers and I have seen farms in Kannur (Kerala ) in my childhood i.e. 1987-88. We had 3 cows, today all houses every where. No farms and today all existing breeds are western and I do remember my grandmother my grand mother talking about artificial insemination as no bulls out there.

    Just wanted to check with you how can we remove this act and save and improve the existing live stock and bring back farming.

    Babita Rajan

    1. Its possible to keep bulls illegally in Kerala.

      As veterinary dept don’t make a fuzz about it nowadays. But if every where it starts then the veterinary dept will start messing up as AI and other allied activities are their source of lively hood and job now.
      I don’t see anytime soon Kerala cow and bull rearing culture getting back in shape. As people have gone. Younger generation is least bothered. Its difficult with out mass movement.

      1. Thank you for the reply sir. It was nice to see the jallikattu movement, wish Kerala youngster shows such keen interest in natural farming. But unlike tamilnadu in Kerala agro lands are also less.

        Regards,
        Babita

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *