Chandigarh, Oct 7: The raging controversy over cow slaughter has hit the Rs 2,500 crore business of breeding cows in Punjab with dairy farmers accusing the state's Gau Sewa Commission of "harassing" them by "inordinately" delaying the necessary permission for export of bovines to other states.
Dairy farmers under the banner of Punjab Progressive Dairy Farmers' Association alleged that the "inordinate" delay in getting the necessary permission from district authorities for export of bovines to other states has "paralysed" the business of breeding cows.
They claimed that the ban on transportation of cows after sunset has also hit the trade. Punjab is one of the leading states in cattle breeding and supply almost three lakh high yielding cows -- Holstein Friesian breed -- to various parts of the country including Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan, they said.
"The Punjab Gau Sewa Commission has made it mandatory for dairy farmers to take permission from district authorities for transporting cows to other states. Besides, permission is also required from a veterinary doctor," Association's President Daljit Singh said.
"The whole process takes about two months...which is sheer harassment," he said adding "due to such conditions, our cow breeding business which is worth Rs 2,500 crore has been adversely hit."
"Against the potential of sending 800 cows daily from Punjab to other states, we are given permission for about 20 cows per month," he said. A cross-bred cow fetches Rs 1.25 to Rs 1.50 lakh.
"Because of delay in permission, buyers from other states are not ready to come here. Where will these three lakh cows go?" he asked.
Singh also claimed that some self-styled cow protection groups operating in the state also harass and even attack trucks carrying cows.
Meanwhile, Punjab Gau Sewa Commission Chairman Keemti Bhagat said, "We don't object to transportation of milking cows. But we will never allow cows to be sent out for slaughter under the garb of trade."
Bhagat said that in last two years, 430 FIRs have been registered in the state in connection with incidents of cow slaughter or smuggling of bovines.