Cow board in Gujarat to implant GPS-enabled microchips on the state’s cows to trace and detect cow slaughter

Cow board in Gujarat to implant GPS-enabled microchips in the state's cows to trace and detect cow slaughter

AHMEDABAD,May22: The Gujarat Gauseva and Gauchar Vikas Board (GGGVB) will implant GPS-enabled microchips in the state’s cows. In the first phase, 50,000 cows giving high milk yield will be tagged with Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFIDs). The cow board chairman, Dr Vallabh Kathiria, said that the microchip will store details such as the animal’s age, its breed, milk yield, and owner’s name. The device will also contain the cow’s identification number, date of birth, health records, and migration status.

“Radio tagging will help owners trace their cows and also help detect cow slaughter cases,” Kathiria said. The cow board has undertaken the identification process in over 200 gaushalas across Gujarat and tagging will be completed by August-end. The project was approved by the state government which has sanctioned Rs 2.78 crore for the project for the year 2017-18. The board has signed an MoU with Gujarat Info Petro Ltd to implement the project.

 A Bangalore-based IT company, Nano Kernel, has been roped in as well. Dr Kiran Balikai, the project coordinator from the company said, “The RFID kit has three elements — a microchip which is embedded in the cow’s ear, a radio frequency device, and a ‘Gausewa’ application.”

Bachu Khabad, the MoS for animal husbandry, said that Gujarat has taken the lead in protecting cows. “This project will help the state increase the number of its healthy milch cows,” Khabad said. “Gujarat has taken this auspicious step to show its commitment to cow protection and conservation.”

Last month, the central government had proposed an Aadhar-like unique identity system for cows to prevent smuggling. However, not all people fighting for the welfare of cows are enthused by the project. Sagar Rabari, an activist who champions the cause of better grazing lands for cattle-owners, said that the project was ridiculous and was initiated to keep cows in the limelight for electoral dividends. “If a person captures an animal for slaughter, he will simply remove the tag and take the cow away,” Rabari said. “If the government wants cattle-owners to be happy, it should seriously think about improving grazing lands.”