Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka is set to enrol over 2.5 lakh cattle under the Pashu Aadhaar registration programme. The initiative by the department of animal husbandry and veterinary sciences aims to establish a comprehensive system for monitoring and managing the health and well-being of cattle in the district.
Under the Pashu Aadhaar programme, each domestic cattle in the district will be assigned a unique identity number based on their muzzle pattern, which will serve as a biometric detail in the Information Network for Animal Productivity and Health (INAPH). The INAPH is being developed by the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and will play a crucial role in maintaining accurate records of cattle and facilitating effective disease control measures.
An improved identification system
In an interview to a major daily, Dr Arun Kumar Shetty, the deputy director of animal husbandry and veterinary sciences, emphasized the need for an improved identification system. The previous method of using ear tags with identification numbers often resulted in injuries, infections, and allergies among the animals.
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To address these challenges, the government has decided to introduce muzzle pattern identification, where the distinctive muzzle pattern of each cattle will be scanned and utilized as biometric data to create a unique identification.
To carry out the registration process, the government has issued a circular instructing the department staff to be fully prepared for collecting muzzle patterns from all domestic cattle in the district. The department of personnel and administrative reforms (e-Governance) will provide the necessary software and applications to streamline the registration process.
According to the recently conducted 20th cattle population survey, Dakshina Kannada district is home to approximately 2,50,569 cattle. Among them, 65,997 are indigenous breeds, while 1,84,572 are crossbreeds. This substantial number of cattle highlights the importance of implementing an efficient registration system like Pashu Aadhaar to ensure proper monitoring, health management, and disease prevention.
Creating a comprehensive database
Pashu Aadhaar aims to create a comprehensive database by assigning unique identity numbers to farm animals, similar to Aadhaar cards for humans. This distinct identification number will enable efficient monitoring of the animal population, facilitate data-driven decision-making, and support the growth of the dairy industry.
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INAPH, developed by the NDDB, will serve as the backbone of the Pashu Aadhaar programme. As part of the registration process, all animals will receive ear tags embedded with bar-coded 12-digit UIDs. These tags will contain essential information such as breed, species, pedigree, calving history, milk production records, and vaccination details.
The Pashu Aadhaar programme originated from a government committee’s recommendation in 2015, following a Supreme Court order to combat livestock smuggling. This initiative not only aims to prevent illegal activities but also seeks to strengthen the dairy industry, ensure the welfare of animals, and establish effective disease control measures.
With the implementation of Pashu Aadhaar in Dakshina Kannada district, authorities anticipate improved livestock management, accurate data collection, and enhanced monitoring capabilities, which will ultimately contribute to the overall development of the region’s agricultural and dairy sectors.