Cow to replace tiger as a national animal? Check govt’s reply in LS


New Delhi: A BJP Lok Sabha member has questioned the government in Parliament whether it intends to recognise ‘gaumata’ (cow) as a “national animal” that is an integral part of the Indian culture.

Ajmer MP Bhagirath Choudhary asked this question to the Union minister of culture, in a written query in the Lower House of Parliament on Monday, to which no direct response was given.

He asked a series of questions, including as to “whether the Government intends to recognise ‘Gaumata’ an integral part of Indian Culture as a national animal,” considering “protection and revival of Indian and sanatan culture” by bringing a legislation in the Parliament in this regard and if so, the details thereof.

Union Minister of Culture G Kishan Reddy, in his written response, said, “As informed by the Department of Animal Husbandry, under the distribution of legislative powers between the Union and the States, (Article 246(3) of the Constitution) preservation of animal is a matter on which the State legislature has exclusive powers to legislate”.

“In order to complement and supplement the efforts made by the States and Union Territories, the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying is implementing Rashtriya Gokul Mission for development and protection of indigenous breeds including indigenous breeds of cattle. The mission is leading to increase in availability of indigenous breeds including cattle in the country. Department has also established Animal Welfare board of India for protecting animals including cow and its progeny,” he said.

Reddy was also asked whether certain bird flower, animal etc. in the country have been designated as national bird, national flower and national animal and provided protection along with the special status keeping in view the sentiments of common people across the country.

As informed by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF & CC), the Government of India had notified tiger and peacock as ‘National Animal’ and ‘National Bird’ respectively, the minister said in his response.

“As the said notifications of the government of India were not forthcoming in the official records of MoEF & CC for quite some time, the Ministry renotified Tiger and Peacock as ‘National Animal’ and ‘National Bird’ respectively, on 30th May 2011,” he added.

Tiger and peacock have been included in the Schedule-I animals of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, thereby “according them the highest degree of protection from hunting. In addition, important habitats of these animals have also been declared as Protected Areas,” he said in his response.

Choudhary also asked whether the Allahabad High Court and the Rajasthan High Court have also “ordered and commented to expedite the process of declaring ‘Gaumata’ as national animal”.

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