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.