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Row over beef in zoos: Need to provide wild animals food as per diet chart, says Assam minister

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New Delhi, Oct 14: Assam minister for forest and environment Parimal Suklabaidya urged those protesting against feeding beef to wild animals living inside the zoo on Wednesday to not create an uproar over the issue.

Assam Zoo

Speaking to media, Suklabaidya said, "They can't survive on mutton or pork alone. They could've been given buffalo meat instead of beef but we don't have many buffaloes in Assam. We float tenders to get beef, buffalo meat, mutton, pork."

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The minister said that he understood the need for increasing the cattle population, but highlighted that the wildlife population also needs to be healthy. "Their demand is fair up to an extent, that our cattle population should increase. But if we've to keep our wildlife alive and healthy, we'll have to provide them food as per their diet chart," said Suklabaidya.

Earlier, BJP leader Satya Ranjan Borah held a demonstration outside the Assam state zoo demanding that the practise of feeding animals inside the zoo be stopped. It is reportedly said that they had also stopped a van carrying beef from entering the zoo during their demonstration on Monday.

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    He also warned the zoo authorities and the government of Assam that if they do not comply with the demand they have to "face consequences".

    Suklabaidya asked people to not create an uproar over the issue. He said, "Have spoken with a few scientists on the possibility and consequences of providing the animals, meat other than beef. There is no use of creating an uproar over the issue."

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