Animal bones found in stomachs of Goa stray cattle

Panaji, Oct 22 (IANS): Days after Goa's Garbage Management Minister Michael Lobo claimed that stray cattle in the state's coastal belt have "turned non-vegetarian", trustee of a cow shelter where such animals are being relocated, has confirmed the unusual trend.

Kamlakant Tari, trustee of Mayem-based Gomantak Gosevak Mahasangh in North Goa, told IANS that chicken and mutton bones were found in the digestive system of the stray cattle from Calangute village that were brought to the shelter and were operated up on by the shelter's veterinarians.

"Desi cattle do not eat chicken or mutton willingly. They feed on whatever they can find. Big restaurants in the Calangute area or other hotels mix all their leftovers -- vegetables, cooked rice, chicken and mutton bones, which the strays feed on," Tari said.

"Animals don't know what they're eating. They feed on mixed leftovers by coastal restaurants and beach shacks in the Calangute-Candolim beach area and get used to eating these things. We found bones in stomaches of cattle after we operated upon them," Tari added.

He also claimed unlike local cattle breeds, which feed on grass, foreign breeds like Jersey and Holstein cows are fed meat with fodder.

On Saturday, Lobo had claimed that stray cattle in his Assembly constituency of Calangute, home to popular tourism savvy beach stretches, were turning carnivore due to their habit of scavenging leftover food and garbage, which includes scraps of meat and fish.

"We always say cattle are vegetarian. But cattle from Calangute have turned non-vegetarian and do not eat grass, gram or the special cattle feed given to them," Lobo had said on Saturday.

Some 76 stray cattle had been relocated to Tari's cow shelter last week, where veterinarians have now been roped in to wean them away from their carnivorous habits.


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