1 lakh sheep, goats killed by dogs, wolves every year

But Animal Husbandry Minister is sceptical about these figures

Shepherds from all over the State attended the Sheep and Wool Producers’ Workshop at the Veterinary Campus, Hebbal, in Bangalore on Wednesday. dh photoHowever, Animal husbandry Minister Revunaik Belamagi is sceptical about these figures. “Who has conducted survey on this? It surprises me that without any survey people arrived at this astronomical figure of a loss of Rs 20 crore,” he said.

The shepherds have demanded that the Government grant them gun licences and free guns to protect their flock. There are about two crore sheep and goats in the State and on an average, at least one goat or sheep goes missing in each district every month, said Shivaraj Malleshi, president, Bidar District Shepherds’ Association. “Each of these animals cost Rs 2,000.” he said.

Since the major challenge the shepherds faced was from thieves, guns were a necessity, he reasoned. Belamagi told Deccan Herald  he would give a serious thought to the demand for gun licences.

Other demands

The shepherd associations also want the Government to grant 25 acres land and Rs two lakh to each shepherd society, bank loans at three per cent interest rate, rebate on fodder price, insurance coverage for loss of goat or sheep and compensation for loss of goat or sheep during natural calamities.

Medical insurance for shepherds and scholarship for higher studies for shepherds’ children are the other demands. The shepherds are holding a rally in Bidar on June 1.
Representatives of shepherds from across the State converged in the City for a day- long workshop on awareness about technical advancement in sheep rearing, artificial insemination, market development, gene development and to avail help on the lines of milk federation members.

Distribution of trenching machines

The government-owned Karnataka Sheep and Wool Development Corporation will distribute automatic trenching machines, which will release the right dosage of medicine to be given to sheep for deworming. Sheep were prone to worm infection, leading to loss of weight of the sheep and thereby, their value.

The government would also release Rs 25,000 to each of the 245 registered shepherd associations in the State for development of infrastructure and other facilities by June.

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