The Indian government is contemplating providing unique identification numbers for cows in the country to prevent their trafficking, officials say.
According to Xinhua, the information was submitted by the federal government in the country’s top court, which was hearing a petition by an organisation alleging rampant smuggling of cattle across the border of Bangladesh.
“Solicitor general Ranjit Kumar told Supreme Court Monday that in order to tackle the illegal smuggling of cows and other cattle, it (gov’t) had accepted the recommendation of an expert group to provide a unique identification number (UIN) for each one,” an official said.
“It may be made mandatory for cows and their progeny throughout India,” the official quoted solicitor general as saying, adding that “each animal will be tagged proper records of identification details – age, breed, sex, lactation, height, body colour, horn type, tail switch and special marks.”
Following the issuance of UIN, a state-level database may be uploaded on a website that would be linked with a national online database.
The proposal is somewhat similar to India’s huge national identity scheme project, wherein it provided biometric identity card to its citizens.
Focus on cow protection, especially by vigilante groups, has risen since 2014 – the year Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) ascended to power under the leadership of Narendra Modi.
There has been a string of cow-related violence, but many state governments, particularly those ruled by the BJP, have defended the action on the grounds that the animal is considered holy by many Hindus.