499 strays died in Lucknow animal shelter in April-Sept
Though ‘gau raksha’ (cow protection) is among the top priorities of the UP government, 499 stray animals — most of them cows — have died in Lucknow’s Kanha Upvan from April 1 to September 30 this year.
No inquiries have been ordered, no death audits carried out and there has been no postmortem examination of the animals’ bodies.
Kanha Upvan (shelter for homeless animals) officials said the cows that died were brought here in a poor condition.
Some of the animals were accident victims, some were ill while others were too old and weak.
“No cow has died of hunger or mismanagement. ‘Jeevaashraya’ has always taken good care of animals in Kanha Upvan — the biggest animal shelter home in the country,” said Amit Sehgal, manager, Kanha Upvan.
Sehgal said questions were raised over the death of stray animals only because ‘Jeevashraya’ (the NGO taking care of the shelter home) decided to withdraw from the maintenance of Kanha Upvan.
He admitted that ‘Jeevashraya’ had been struggling to arrange food for the animals from the past few days as all their funds had dried up.
Besides, the state government had refused to issue any more funds.
Sehgal said despite Jeevaashrya’s request not to send more cows to Kanha Upvan, the authorities were sending cattle, which was increasing the financial burden on the NGO.
‘Jeevashraya’ was accused of taking ₹8.35 crore aid from the state government in the last five years and their refusal to feed the animals drew flak from animal lovers and animal rights activists.
An activist said, “Can they tell what they have done for Kanha Upvan in that period? Why can’t they feed animals for a month? With such huge aid from others, anyone can manage affairs at Kanha Upvan.”
Municipal commissioner Udairaj Singh said he was keeping a watch on the situation but would comment after verifying facts.
Can they tell what they have done for Kanha Upvan in that period? Why can’t they feed animals for a month? With such huge aid from others, anyone can manage affairs at Kanha Upvan. ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVIST