IAR comes to the aid of injured cows in Goa
Regular visitors to the IAR website may recall our story from October 2006 about a bull in the town of Candolim in North Goa. The bull had been injured when local residents had thrown what appeared to be boiling oil over its back to get it off their property.
Recently similar cases have presented themselves, this time in the town of Bicholim, also in North Goa. Local workers at an industrial estate have injured several cows and bulls by throwing acid on them, presumably because the animals were in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
IAR Goa attended two calls on 16th and 18th October where individuals had reported cows in distress. Upon attending the first call it quickly became clear to the drivers and the vet that the cow could not be treated on site. Despite having an owner (the IAR shelter in Goa normally only admits stray animals) the cow was admitted at the shelter in Assagao for immediate treatment. If treatment is not given urgently the wounds caused by the acid burning away the skin become infested with maggots and once such an infection takes hold it becomes an extremely difficult task to get the wounds to heal. Vets attended to the cow immediately and although it will take time, the animal is now on the road to recovery.
Unfortunately, the other cow which was picked up on 18th October did not have such a lucky escape. Judging by her condition it is thought that she had been attacked with the acid at the same time as the first one. She however had sustained even more severe wounds and had been wandering around for 2 days without treatment. Her entire back and hip area was an open wound and already flies and maggots were eating away at the raw flesh. Upon examining the cow the vets had to make the merciful decision of peacefully putting the cow to sleep.
Sadly these two cases are but two of many. It is not uncommon for boiling water, oil or acid to be used to scare away cattle. Due to the nature of the lives of these animals in India - as sacred animals they walk around freely on the roads and in the fields - it becomes difficult to control and confine them. Although local authorities have set up so-called cattle pounds in an attempt to "store" unclaimed cattle out of the way of local residents, there simply are not enough resources to catch and transport the cattle to these pounds.
The two incidences above were both reported by local residents to the police as well as to IAR, but as yet the culprits have not been found since no one is willing to admit to knowing who may lie behind this immense cruelty to these poor animals.