Mysuru: The five-yearly livestock census has begun in city following the Centre’s directive to States and Union Territories.
The 20th Livestock Census, delayed almost by a year (it was to be held last July), assumes significance because it is the first-ever enumeration of domestic animals since the Narendra Modi government came to power in May 2014. Interestingly, in Mysuru, the first animal census was conducted in 1897 by the then Maharaja.
The Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) has taken up counting of pets since Nov. 1, 2018 and the process will conclude on Jan. 31, 2019. MCC Commissioner K.H. Jagadeesha has appealed to the owners of cattle, dogs and other pets to provide accurate information to enumerators who are conducting the census.
Officials from District Administration, Department of Animal Husbandry and MCC have been going door-to-door counting animals. The census was supposed to begin on Oct.1 but was delayed as the officials were busy in Dasara preparations.
Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G. Sankar is the District Nodal Officer for census and MCC Commissioner K.H. Jagadeesha is the City-level Officer. In all, there are 37 enumerators and seven supervisors led by Assistant Director of Animal Husbandry (MCC) Dr. S.C. Suresh who has been entrusted with census duty.
At the district-level, the Department of Animal Husbandry has appointed trained enumerators led by District Veterinary Officer Dr. Ajith to conduct the census. Special training has been given to Veterinary Inspectors, Veterinary Assistants, Supervisors and Clerical Staff of the Department to ensure the success of the census. Teams are visiting door-to-door to conduct census every morning and evening in all MCC Wards. Enumerators are visiting houses, apartments, enterprises and institutions both in rural and urban areas to collect information about type of livestock, their breeds, background of the owner including their caste details and the number of equipment used in the pet sector.
Detailed information related to dogs, cattle, buffaloes, poultry, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, donkeys, rabbits and elephants are being collected. In poultry category, information about fowls, quails, ducks, turkeys and emu are being collected. However, details of aquarium fish will not be collected during this census unlike in the past.
Information would be collected regarding the number of equipment such as milking machine, mechanised fodder cutter, mechanised chopper and baler, mechanised dung collection and disposal equipment. Each enumerator will cover 6,000 families.
Digitisation of census report
In a first-of-its-kind, the Department has been digitising all records and headcounts of all domesticated animals. Enumerators have been given GPS-enabled tablets to collect accurate data and information and they are required to upload it on the server on a day-to-day basis. Enumerators will collect breed-wise information of various species which will give vital information for determination of threatened indigenous breeds so that initiatives for their conservation can be launched.
Apartment residents non-cooperative
Speaking to Star of Mysore, Assistant Director of Animal Husbandry (MCC) Dr. S.C. Suresh said that he had received complaints from enumerators that some pet animal owners living in apartment complexes and gated communities were not co-operating with census officials.
Identity cards have been issued to all enumerators and they will affix stickers related to nationwide livestock census on every house after collecting the census data.
Livestock owners must give all information as such measures are a must to formulate future animal husbandry policies and their implementation. “It will also enable the government to take corrective steps for distribution of benefits to farmers and protect their livestock,” he said and appealed to the pet owners to share information.
What has owners’ caste got to do with pet breed?
What has the caste of the pet owner got to do with the breed of the pet? This question has been bothering the pet owners as census enumerators are asking the owners’ caste while noting down the breed of the pets.
For example, if a person owns a Labrador and if he belongs to a particular community, the enumerator notes down the data as Owner and his community name, Pet Breed: Labrador. Not only this, even the occupation of the pet owner is being asked and the details are noted. Seeing the way caste is playing a role here too like in caste-dominated Indian political scenario, residents are wondering for what purpose the caste column has been created in the livestock census data sheet.