India’s holy cows are turning out to be vengeful deities, according to new figures showing the number of bovine attacks is on the increase.
New figures show seventeen cases of attacks on people in the first half of this year – more than the total number of bites since 2004.
Animal rights groups blamed a sharp increase in the number of people bitten by cows and buffaloes in the capital New Delhi on a surge in building projects which have blocked their traditional grazing routes and left the creatures bewildered and panicked.
Campaigners said many of the cows and buffaloes wandering Delhi’s roads are owned and neglected by illegal dairies who are concerned only about their milk production.
Vasanti Kumar, of Stray Relief and Animal Welfare (STRAW) said the situation had been created by the failure of local officials to keep cattle off the streets, and by a reverential public which feeds them.
“They are a cause for concern and cause many accidents, not just hurting humans but themselves. Many people feed the cows and other stray animals in public places as they are considered to be sacred. This has to stop,” she said.
Uma Menon of the charity Friendicoes said the increase in traffic in the city had made the cows more aggressive. “Bovines are programmed with a map to reach back to their homes but with the fast-changing city landscape, they get strayed and panic,” she said.
“Animals hear much higher frequency sounds than humans, there is too much noise produced by traffic. This can be a cause of animals turning violent in public places, although their instinctive behavior is not to hurt.”
– The Telegraph