Cow shelters struggle with sheer weight of numbers
COWS in India are being abandoned in growing numbers and turned away by shelters that cannot cope.
The Sri Krishna Gaushala on the outskirts of New Delhi is typical of shelters for home- less cows across India – struggling to keep up with demand.
Sri Krishna is spread over 15 hectares and is home to nearly 8000 cows, bulls and calves – mostly ageing, ailing, and no longer producing milk.
Rajendra Singh Shekhawat manages 110 bustling sheds. The shelter is close to its 7800 capacity.
“We have 7700 right now. All the other cow shelters in Delhi are facing the same problem, they’re all overcrowded,” Shekhawat said.
A 2012 livestock census found there were more than five million strays across India and more than 12,000 in Delhi.
Cows regularly hold up city traffic. Every month, some 600 cattle are rounded up in Delhi and relocated to five shelters. Courts have repeatedly ordered authorities to take action because of the safety and public health risk.
TRAFFIC STOPPER: A cow stands on a road in New Delhi, where every month some 600 cattle are rounded up and relocated to five shelters.