Cow Corps Disbanded
Friesian cattle are famous the world over; their descendants, created by breeding them with India’s Sahiwal cattle, are perhaps less so. Now, 25,000 of these ‘Frieswal’ hybrids are posted in 39 military farms across India. The farms were set up in 1889 to provide fresh food for the army, and the high-yield cows still supply 14 per cent of the army’s milk. But a decision was taken last year to sell off the farms (20,000 acres of land in total) to cut flab and free up more than 57,000 troops for other duties. It hit a snag when no one was willing to pay the price the cows were valued at—over Rs 1 lakh per animal. The army has therefore decided to transfer the cows to central or state government departments and dairy co-operatives for a token price of Rs 1,000 each.