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​Hundreds of cows dying of starvation in western Nepal

TNW Correspondent

The Nepal Weekly Tuesday, Mar 12, 2019 291
Nepal's constitution has protected cow as the national animal of country and \Nepal is home to 80 percent Hindus, who consider cow as Laxmi Mata or Mother God. Despite this fact, cows are treated in a very inhuman and heinous way, which is revealed by a recent case study.
"People here in Nepal abandon cows in the street because of the financial burden especially when the cows give no benefit," points out animal activist Sneha Shrestha, chairperson of Sneha's Care . Cow cannot be slaughtered in Nepal as per the criminal code of the country.
"Millions of cows are abandoned in the street of Nepal and we can see them anywhere in the road and on the highways in a group." These animals often get sick and weaker because of the garbage they eat," she points out
"To show what is actually happening to Gau Mata across the country, I would like to draw public attention to a 'Gaushala' (Shelter for cows) in Ghodaghodi municipality of Kailali district.," says Sneha. The 'shelter' is located middle of the dense forest, where almost 2500 cows were kept, out of which many cows have already died due to starvation, she points out. "The cows became sick, weaker and some even died because of hunger, thirst and diseases." There are three shelters inside the forest in a fenced area with no roof and no immediate access to water and food. Total of more than 250 cows are at risk inside the shelter, she points out.
After hearing about many cows dying due to starvation through a national newspaper, we visited the area, which is 700 km west from Kathmandu to learn the situation, says Sneha, who also runs an organization called Sneha Care.We found that out of 2500 cows, only 250 survived till date.
Sneha's Care started feeding the sick animals and made water available to them, and also started providing treatment to them. "We found the new place for the cowshed with the help of municipality and started construction of the new shed so that we could rescue the cows from the forest to the village where there is grazing area and water available."
After the construction, we brought all the remaining cows to the new cow shelter, she added.
"There are more places where the cows are dying and we are trying to reach those places and discuss with the authorities for their protection," according to Sneha's Care. "We are also drafting a long term solution and submitting it to various stakeholders."
In response to a petition filed at the Supreme Court seeking for the protection of the cows the apex court has issued an interim stay order in the matter and the next hearing is on March 17, March 2019, according to Sneha's Care.