Chandigarh: Sikander, the prize-winning bull, was almost like the goose that laid the golden eggs to Raja Pholriwal a Jalandhar-based farmer.
But Raja lost 17-year-old Sikander to Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) recently, the disease which has turned into a cattle epidemic and thus a nightmare for the dairy farmers of the state.
Raja the owner of Sikander said, “He was like a child to me and I was proud of him. In all the cattle fairs, he won us 45 motorbikes worth close to Rs 35 lakh, a tractor, gold and large sums of money.”
Raja Polriwal is now planning to hold a paath in Sikander’s memory and will also get a statue built as a remembrance of his favourite bovine.
Raja’s is not an isolated case. There are others too who have lost their precious domestic animals to Lumpy Skin Disease.
Satwinder Singh of Herian village in Nawanshahr also lost his bull named Bholu. Satwinder reminisces, “Bholu won for us 11 motorcycles at different cattle fairs, two Maruti Alto cars, tens of lakhs of rupees, six finger-rings of gold, two gold wrist wears, etc.”
“Saade kol jo vi hai ohda ditta hai, hun jad sada sama aaya ohdi sewa karan da, oho chala gaya (whatever we have today is because of Sikander. Now, when he had gotten old and it was time for us to serve him, he left us,” said Raja.
“I had bought him for just Rs 16,000. After that I trained him for bull races and then from that point on there was no looking back.”
Pet and animal husbandry experts say such animals are a prized possession not only because they get you prize money, etc but also because they carry good quality sperms and their progeny whether a heifer or a calf has the same potential.
There have been about 10,000 deaths of cattle in Punjab due to the Lumpy Skin Disease. Also, milk production has gone down by 20 per cent in the state. Punjab produces 3 crore litres of milk every day. Out of this 1.25 crore litre is sold in the organised market.
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