Haryana is a state that has been mired in scams and that brings suspicion to many actions or inactions of the state. One such area that requires closer scrutiny is the veterinary care and development in Haryana.
A large segment of the population lives primarily on livestock or supplements their existing income through agriculture. The primary source of income from livestock comes from milk production and Haryana has developed quite a reputation for high yielding cattle. In fact, Haryana has now built an international reputation on the back of the Murrah buffalo which gives milk yields from 12-23 liters per day.
Haryana has emerged as a major centre for breeding and supply of cows and buffalos to various states in India. Haryana's percentage share of India's total milk production is around 5%.
The problem is that despite Haryana s very obvious good work in research and development in cattle breeding and development, Haryana s share in milk production has remained more or less the same as a percentage share of India's milk production.
If we see the milk production for FY 04- 05, Haryana produced 5.2 million tons vs India s 92.5 million tons. In FY 12- 13, Haryana produced 7.0 million tons vs India s 132 million tons. The national rate of increase in milk production is more than Haryana s for the same period. In fact, Haryana's share has actually come down!
Which means that while Haryana claims the mantle of being the leader in cattle development, its share of milk production should have increased as a percentage of India s total production but this hasn t happened.
The statistics released in the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of Haryana, shows several erratic trends that only raises further questions.
Let's see some of them.
Artificial insemination conducted on Buffalo
Between the period FY 06- 07 to FY 10- 11, the number of artificial inseminations carried out steadily increased each year i.e. 13.06 lakh to 15.78 lakh. But the very next year in FY 11- 12, the number strangely drops to 9.68 lakh.
So can the Hooda administration please explain how and why did the insemination numbers drop so suddenly? Especially, since the buffalo is the mainstay for milk production in the state?
Even stranger are the figures shown for the very next year i.e. FY 12- 13. The number of insemination increased to 21.14 lakh! So how does the government inseminate 15.78 lakh buffaloes in FY 10- 11, then drop to 9.68 lakh the next year and then shoot up to 21.14 lakh the next year! How did this happen?
Mr Chief Minister, there is a lot of explaining to do here.
Now read the above in the context of a scam that was reported in April 2012. In Sundana village of Rohtak District, there was a major outbreak of disease and several cattle died as a result. The villagers blamed the state veterinary department for their laxity in implementing the cattle immunization program which could have prevented the disease outbreak.
The official response was the usual denial and a statement was issued claiming that the immunization program was fully and successfully implemented and that 4,600 animals had been vaccinated.
However, as per their own cattle census data, Sundana village had a total animal count of only 3,200 ! So where did the money for the excess cattle shown, go? Once the department was exposed, the Animal Husbandry Director General, KS Dangi was forced to admit that were lapses in the vaccination program.
Now if you see the statistics mentioned above, you see a very suspicious trend that require a lot of questions to be answered. What make the matter worse is that the poor animals, who can t speak for themselves on the inhuman treatment meted out to them, have to continue to suffer total negligence, at the hands of humans, for whom the only driving point is greed for profit. Even if it s at the cost of these helpless creatures that provide us a livelihood and protect our health.
Drop in animal husbandry care camps organised
The state government's care for its livestock is revealed by the number of camps it has organized in the state. If the milk production has been rising in the state since FY 05- 06, then it would be safe to assume that the cattle numbers have also risen in that period. In which case the number of camps should also keep pace with the added growth. But this government s approach tells a different story.
In FY 06- 07, 6,901 camps were organised in the state. The very next year in FY 07- 08, the number of camps drops5,479. Then again in FY 08- 09 it drops even further to 5,243 ! What happened? Why was there a drop in camps in three years? Was it because the animals became healthier or was it lack of priority, especially since the animal count was rising each year?
Then suddenly, the government wakes up and the next year i.e. FY 09- 10, the government goes out and organises9,762 camps! Where did the funds suddenly come from and why the sudden spike in camps? And whatever the reason given, how do you explain the steady drop in camps organized in the next three years i.e. FY 10- 11 (8,497camps), FY 11- 12 (7,870 camps) and FY 12- 13 (7,097 camps)?
Why has the number of camps been reduced when the camps should actually be rising in keeping with the rise in cattle numbers? Either the state government doesn t care for the animals or it is diverting the funds elsewhere, instead of investing it on the livestock.
Number of vaccinations done
Just as in humans, the lifespan and health of an animal depends on the vaccination program, both for regularity, as well as quality. So let s see how the Hooda administration has been going about implementing vaccinations of animals.
In FY 07- 08, the number of vaccinations done was 174.86 lakh. Thereafter, the next two years saw a consistent decline in vaccinations, FY 08- 09 (169.21 lakh), and FY 09- 10 (139.31 lakh). So can someone explain how and why did the number of vaccinations done, drop between FY 08 and FY 10?
How does the state expect to improve the health of its cattle and increase its milk production, if the number of vaccinations done keep reducing, when they should be rising and significantly so?
State government failure
No wonder the state s share of national milk production has come down since FY 04- 05. Is this how the state plans to continue to claim the mantle of developing the highest yielding cattle in the country? Why has the Hooda administration adopted such a lackadaisical attitude towards veterinary care when a large section of its citizens depend on cattle to supplement their livelihood? Do the people realize and see through this indifferent attitude to a crucial sector of the economy?
The Hooda administration has had 10 years to improve the health and numbers of its livestock as also significantly improve the income of its people, but sadly that has not happened. It s time for the people to bring in a change, one that will help them improve their own and their cattle s lives. It s time for a Naya Haryana.