Obese Goshala cows on diet


IN­TER­VEN­TION by a Kyalami vet has re­sulted in a pos­i­tive di­etary change for two “ex­ces­sively over­weight” Friesian cows at the ISKCON Midrand Goshala.

The find­ing was made dur­ing a rou­tine ex­am­i­na­tion which in­cluded de-worm­ing and vac­cines by vet Shee­lagh Hig­gerty.

In a de­tailed let­ter to the man­age­ment at ISKCON, Hig­gerty out­lined her con­cerns about the cows’ weight and diet.

The let­ter reads: “At the time of my ex­am­i­na­tion, I was told that the cows re­ceive a large amount of ‘treats’ from the gen­eral pub­lic, such as car­rots, let­tuce, ap­ples, but­ter­nut, etc. These items are not the nor­mal food of cat­tle and apart from the ex­ces­sive weight can also lead to chok­ing and poor ru­mi­nal ac­tiv­ity.”

She rec­om­mended that the “treats” be strictly con­trolled by ISKCON and sug­gested that the “treats” be sold by the or­gan­i­sa­tion as a means to con­trol what the cows are eat­ing.

The pres­i­dent of ISKCON Midrand, Radhe Shyam Dasa, said the cows were from their goshala.

A goshala is a pro­tec­tive shel­ter for cat­tle. Cows are con­sid­ered sa­cred in the Hindu re­li­gion and a goshala is a refuge for them.

He said that since re­ceiv­ing the let­ter, they have mon­i­tored what the cows are be­ing fed and have seen a dif­fer­ence in their health. “They are much bet­ter… we no­ticed they are more health­ier and stronger. Out of love peo­ple tend to feed the cows, not re­al­is­ing the dam­age it could have on the an­i­mal. We have since placed signs to pre­vent peo­ple from feed­ing just any­thing to the cows and we mon­i­tor what’s be­ing fed.”

He added that the cows have reg­u­lar vet checks and ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing the vet, was happy with their progress.

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