Punjab's dairy farmers on Monday accused the vigilante "cow protection groups" of hurting the Rs 2,500 crore breeding business, saying their flourishing trade of selling high-yielding cows to other states have shut.
The farmers led by Punjab Progressive Dairy Farmers' Association also charged the SAD-BJP government with "creating obstacles" like seeking no objection certificates (NOC) to send cows to other states. "Our trade has received a big setback because of vigilante cow protection groups which are unnecessarily harassing Punjab cow traders in the garb of protecting cows," association's president Daljit Singh said. "Our Rs 2,500-crore industry has almost finished and cow breeding business has come to a standstill," said Singh. Dairy farmers used to have a decent income from cow breeding business as their crossbred fetch Rs 1.25 to Rs 1.50 lakh a cow.
"But now we are not even able to get Rs 50,000 as buyers are afraid of entering Punjab," he claimed. He presented two dairy farmers from Punjab who were allegedly harassed by "cow protection groups" one month back. "A false case was registered against them at the behest of a cow protection group," he said adding that several instances have happened in the past and as a result farmers were now afraid to sell their cows. He also accused the "inordinate" delay in getting necessary permissions from district authorities, which has "severely hit" his business. "Earlier, there was no need to carry NOC. But now it is mandatory to get NOC which certifies that it is a milking cow and it takes a very long time in getting such NOCs," he said.
"We are giving ultimatum to the state government to rollback this NOC by August 10, otherwise we will take to streets," he said. Punjab is one of the leading states in the country for cattle breeding and supply almost 3 lakh high yielding cows --Holstein Friesian breed, to various parts of the country including like Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan, dairy farmers said.