MU Extension project helps 93-year-old farmer – Houston Herald

Farmers like 93-year-old Harry Keutzer don’t quit just because their body parts slow down.

His hens, cows and pets depend on him. So do customers at the Kansas City-area farmers markets where he sells produce, eggs and hand-loomed rugs.

The Missouri AgrAbility Project, through University of Missouri Extension, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension and the Brain Injury Association of Missouri, provides aging farmers with information, referrals and a variety of resources to keep working.

Lincoln University Extension farm and AgrAbility outreach worker Susan Jaster carried out an assessment of accessibility at Keutzer’s Lafayette County farm and made recommendations on how to make the home safer and more accessible.


Harry Keutzer


MU Extension state health and safety specialist Karen Funkenbusch said AgrAbility helps farmers with disabilities caused by age, injury or illness to keep farming. The program provides research-based information and appropriate referrals to other agencies as needed.

America’s farm population has been aging rapidly over the last 30 years. According to the USDA’s 2012 Census of Agriculture, released in 2014, the average age of U.S. farmers is 58.3 years. There are now more farmers over 75 than between the ages of 35 and 44, Funkenbusch said.

Keutzer and his daughter-in-law, Stacy, grew 3,000 tomato plants in a high tunnel last year. They also planted a three-acre garden and put in a large plot of potatoes on a neighbor’s garden spot. Stacy picks all of the produce and Harry sorts it. Both wash and pack it.

Mobility is a challenge. When it rains, Keutzer has to stay inside and can’t work. But Keutzer’s energy level and stamina during the three-hour farm assessment surprised Jaster.

“He has the energy and deserves to be able to carry on his active life,” she said.

AgrAbility recommended a different type of scooter to reduce fatigue and help him maneuver around the farm over muddy and rough ground. The program also recommended a hydraulic lift to move pallets from the ground to make it easier to load produce onto the enclosed truck the Keutzers take to farmers markets.

Harry’s weathered hands are rarely idle and his mind remains active with farmer ingenuity. He finds it increasingly difficult to plant, so he and his son, Virgil, built a transplanter for their small tractor. It plants and waters the plant plug and lays weed-barrier plastic.

He uses his scooter to check on 100 chickens and takes buckets of water to livestock. He milks a three-teated cow that provides milk for two calves and a gallon a day for milk, butter, homemade ice cream and tapioca for the Keutzers.

He still enjoys cutting wood. He makes wine and helps his daughter-in-law cut fabric strips to make into loomed rugs. In October, he assisted a calving cow with a difficult birth.

Keutzer grew up working with his brothers on his father’s 500-acre farm at Creighton, Mo. He was so small when he started milking cows that his father had a special milking stool made for him.

He went to a country school until eighth grade. He said boys carried .22-caliber single-shot rifles to school, shooting rabbits and squirrels along the way to feed their families. And all boys had a two-bladed pocketknife, he says, to skin wild game and play “mumblepeg” at recess.

After school each day, he listened to 15 minutes of the Tom Mix cowboy show on the radio before starting chores. The radio wasn’t turned on again until 9:30 p.m., when the family listened to “Amos ’n’ Andy” and the news.

He farmed with a team of horses before buying his first tractor, a Farmall F-20. In 1942, Harry bought his second tractor, an Allis-Chalmers WC, at auction for $870.

He and other farmers anxiously awaited electrification through REA. On Jan. 7, 1945, he and his wife, Johnnie, celebrated her birthday in nearby Clinton. They returned home to a house lit with electricity, and their new Montgomery Ward refrigerator was plugged in and running.

He, his wife and a hired hand traveled the area baling hay from spring to fall. His wife drove the tractor as he put the 8 ½-foot wires into the baler. The hired hand tied the bales. It was hard work, but Keutzer and his wife made enough money to buy a new Kaiser automobile with cash.

In 1952, the Keutzers moved to southern Minnesota, where his uncles lived. He rented 320 acres on shares and was one of the first to plant soybean. Corn was selling for $1.25 a bushel under a government price-protection system.

Times were different then, Harry recalls. Farm implement dealers and oil companies helped young farmers get started by extending credit until crops were sold. He bought a four-row cultivator, planter, disk, a new corn picker and two new tractors – a John Deere 720 diesel and an IH Farmall 400 – on credit.

He and Johnnie also opened their home to 50 foster children during their time in Minnesota. The dinner table was often set for more than 20. He taught the children the value of rural life, hard work and being self-sufficient.

In 1959, his father quit farming and he returned to Missouri. Harry rented the farm next to his father’s and had 1,000 acres of South Grand River bottomland.

They farmed the home place until 1972, when Truman Reservoir took much of their land. They sold out and returned to Minnesota to a 45-head dairy farm.

His son met Stacy and married. She wasn’t a farm girl but quickly learned how to care for 45 bucket calves. They farmed there until Harry’s wife died, then moved to Iowa. He worked until he was 81 as a night watchman for Spee-Dee Delivery Services before moving to Napoleon.

Keutzer’s farming practices and lifestyle evolved as times and technology changed. He keeps current with technology by following farm auctions and news online.

Just as he learned to incorporate new farming methods throughout his life, he has learned to adjust as a farming nonagenarian.

AgrAbility gives him the resources to continue doing what he loves to do-provide food to feed America.

National Institute of Food and Agriculture, an agency of USDA, administers the AgrAbility Project.

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Brighten up your home – Waterbury Republican American

Gorgeous Bull Skull by Aureus Arts

CHICAGO TRIBUNENo need to break out the crayons. Beat the winter grays with bright stuff for your home. Here are some products to get you started.

1. Scottish designer Jonathan Saunders’ cheeky designs make clashing colors harmonious. His Herringbone carpet for The Rug Company is a case in point. $129 per square foot at The Rug Company, Chicago.

2. Primary colors and simple organic shapes mark the chairs from the Swedish design trio Claesson Koivisto Rune for Tacchini. The Kelly E Chair is $2,300, at Orange Skin, Chicago.

3. The Lindona Necklace from Songa Designs, an eco-friendly accessories line made by women in Rwanda as a way to establish their economic independence. Each handmade piece is made of repurposed natural materials such as banana leaf fiber, sisal plant, and cow horn. $48 at songadesigns. com.

4. Improve your mood by upholstering Vitra’s Mariposa sofa in a bold hue. Pick from dozens of colors including poppy red, grass green, magenta and lemon, pictured. $7,520 at

5. Four shades in different hues give the Tam Tam suspension lamp by Design Fabien Dumas a colorful personality. $1,093 at

6. Give time the attention it deserves with a clock that steals the proverbial show. Normann Copenhagen’s Watch Me Wall Clock is $50 at

7. Studio Job’s paper lamp for Moooi is inspired by classic lamps but draws on a crafty material. $1,703.00 at

8. Warm up any seat in the room with Maharam’s Millerstripe Pillow with fabric designed by famed 20th-century industrial designer Alexander Girard. The 17-inch pillow is 92 percent wool and 8 percent nylon and sports a cotton insert with a duck feather fill. $175 at

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Collins backs level playing field for US dairy products – The Batavian

Representative Chris Collins (NY-27) today led a bipartisan letter sent to President Trump applauding the president’s acknowledgements of Canada’s protectionist trade policies related to dairy products and advocating for swift action to ensure Canada upholds its trade agreements.

“President Trump campaigned on putting America first, and protecting American jobs,” Collins said. “Today’s letter highlights how vital the U.S. dairy industry is to Western New York and dairy producing regions across the country. The U.S. dairy industry supports billions of dollars in exports and hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs.

“Unfortunately, due to unfair competitive practices by Canada, we must take action to ensure our dairy products will be able to compete on a level playing field. I am glad President Trump has recognized how important this issue is to hundreds of thousands of hardworking Americans, and I will continue working with my colleagues to protect the U.S. dairy industry.”

The letter which 68 lawmakers signed on to was also co-led by Representatives Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Ron Kind (WI-03), Sean Duffy (WI-07), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), and Peter Welch (VT-AL).

The letter details Canadian trade practices that “may violate Canada’s existing trade commitments to the United States by effectively discouraging U.S. dairy exports to Canada.” It also reinforces that “our districts and states rely on the jobs the dairy industry provides and cannot afford further protectionist policies from our northern neighbor.”

Full text of the letter along with signatories can be seen here and full text can be read below.

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Bovine TB Found in Western Michigan Cow From Indiana – U.S. News & World Report

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U.S. News & World Report

Bovine TB Found in Western Michigan Cow From Indiana
U.S. News & World Report
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said Wednesday the infected, 3-year-old cow had been imported from an infected herd in Franklin County, Indiana, before that herd tested positive for bovine TB. The cow was euthanized.
Trace Investigation from Indiana Finds TB-Positive Cow in
Surveillance area set after Lake County cow tests positive for bovine …WZZM
Bovine TB Found in Lake County CowMI News 26

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Here's Why Trump is Having A Cow Over Canadian Milk – Mother Jones

Donald Trump hasn’t done much in his young presidency to delight high-powered Democratic lawmakers like Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). But last week, Trump did just that when he picked a fight with Canada’s dairy farmers, after receiving a letter urging him to do so from Schumer, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin).

Trump’s beef with Canadian dairy played well with Republicans, too. At a speech in dairy-heavy Wisconsin last week (video here), Trump fulminated against our northern neighbor’s milk policy, and vowed to organize what sounds like a dramatically awkward group phone call involving the state’s most prominent politicians: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin).  “We’re going to get together and we’re going to call Canada, and we’re going to say, ‘What happened?,'” he thundered. “And they might give us an answer, but we’re going to get the solution, not just the answer, OK?”


If you’re wondering what the hell Trump is babbling about—and why Canadian milk generates such strange, and angry, bedfellows south of its border—here’s a primer.

• US dairy producers are churning out way too much milk, and have been for a while. “Farmers in the U.S. are pouring out tens of millions of gallons of excess milk, amid a massive glut that has slashed prices and has filled warehouses with cheese,” The Wall Street Journalreported last October. In the first eight months of 2016, the paper added, US dairy farmers dumped out 66 Olympic swimming pools worth of milk, the “most wasted in at least 16 years.” In 2015, too, there was “so much milk flowing out of US cows these days that some is ending up in dirt pits because dairies can’t find buyers,” Bloomberg reported at the time.

The back story: Goaded by rising demand for dairy products from Asia and low prices for feed, US farmers scaled up in 2014, increasing their herds and squeezing out more milk per cow. Trouble is, farmers in other big milk-producing regions like New Zealand made the same bet, and now there’s a global milk glut. The practice of dumping surplus milk has continued into this spring, the US Department of Agriculture recently reported.

US agriculture programs give dairy farmers incentive to produce as much as possible, embroiling them in boom-and-bust cycles like the current one, driving small farms out of business and forcing survivors to scale up. As recently as 1950, around 3.5 million US farms kept dairy cows; by 2012, that number had dwindled to 58,000, even as overall production surged. The shakeout continues. “In 2010, Vermont had more than 1,000 dairy farms, but by the end of last year there were just over than 800,” NPR recently reported.

Meanwhile, the massive overproduction persists amid heroic, government-led efforts to prod Americans to consume more dairy. As Josh Harkinson reported in 2015, USDA dietary guidelines urge everyone nine years old or older to drink three cups of milk per day, a recommendation that owes much more to industry lobbying than it does to sound nutrition science. Than’s there’s Dairy Management, a group overseen by the USDA that works with “influential and globally recognized companies such as McDonald’s, Domino’s, Quaker, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut” to work more dairy into fast food. Oy.

• Canada’s dairy farmers are largely insulated from these cycles. That’s because, in sharp contrast to the US government, Canada’s dairy policy is based on production quotas that prevent farmers from either under- or overproducing. The program guarantees farmers get a price that covers their production costs, and slaps a high tariff on dairy imports, protecting them from foreign competition. Canadian consumers tend to pay more for milk than their peers, but not prohibitively so. Overall, Canadians devote just 9.7 percent of their overall expenditures to groceries, one of the lowest rates in the world. (US consumers have the lowest rate of all: 6.4 percent.)

Canada’s dairy program, known as “supply management,” might sound crazy to US ears, but it has advantages. In an excellent 2010 Gastronomica article, Barry Estabrook noted that, while decades of booms and busts had hollowed out dairy farming in New England and upstate New York, small and mid-sized dairy farms just over the border in Ontario—farming the “same gently rolling tapestry of field and forest”—are thriving.

• But there’s a hole in Canada’s dairy-tariff wall. So-called ultra-filtered milk—made with a process that concentrates milk proteins, separating out the fat—is a relatively new invention, designed to make dairy products that are highly concentrated and shelf-stable, and thus easy to export . Because of a loophole in trade law, Canada’s dairy tariffs don’t apply to it, and so the US dairy industry has been exporting ultra-filtered milk into Canada for years, where it competes with less-processed domestic skim milk in cheese making. Major production plants have “been built in recent years along the Canada-US border in states like New York and Wisconsin to service Canadian demand,” reports the Canadian news site; and it has grown into a $150 million market for US producers.

• Canada just slammed shut that loophole—enraging the US industry and capturing Trump’s attention. In a policy change announced in February and put into effect recently, Canada dropped the price for processed dairy products, essentially pricing US ultra-filtered milk out of its market. Two US dairy companies geared to the Canadian market—one in Wisconsin, one in New York—immediately complained of lost sales; the Wisconsin one, Grassland Dairy products, delivered bad news to 75 farms: It would no longer buy their milk. The development inflamed politicians in Democratic Party-dominated New York and and GOP-heavy Wisconsin, and eventually in the White House.

• But the US dairy industry has been itching for years to break down Canada’s tariff wall and undercut its dairy program—as have Democratic politicians. Under Barack Obama, US negotiators pushed hard to fully pry open the Canadian market to US dairy under the Trans Pacific Partnership, the trade deal championed by Obama and ultimately killed by Trump. And Tom Vilsack, who served as Obama’s secretary of agriculture for the entire eight-year term, now leads the US Dairy Export Council, a Big Dairy group that for years has pushed against Canada’s program. Vilsack recently signed a letter to Trump demanding “immediate action” against Canada for icing out US ultra-filtered milk.

• Canada aside, though, US dairy farmers clearly can’t export their way out of the dairy glut. As Chris Holman, a Wisconsin farmer who is active in the Wisconsin Farmers Union, noted in a recent blog post, the underlying problem is a “vicious cycle” that leads to oversupply: “When markets are up, farms often expand and production increases to take advantage of better prices. When the milk supply goes up and markets are down, farms often expand and production increases as they try to keep their heads above water.” Holman recently told me that “if every dairy farm in Wisconsin culled one cow out of production, it would more than make up for the milk lost to Canada, and everyone can keep farming.”

But organizing such a move would essentially require supply management—something anathema to big US dairy processors, which enjoy all the cheap milk encouraged by a lack of production controls. Ferd Hoefner, former policy director and current senior strategic advisor for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, told me that the 2014 farm bill included a supply management program for dairy, but it was struck down at the last minute.

• Wisconsin is a dairy-heavy state—and one that Trump barely won. And also the home of Ryan, with whom Trump needs to be friendly if he is going to get anything done in Congress. Moreover, his anti-trade tirades have not been popular with US Big Ag interests, which rely heavily on exports. Applying his fierce trade rhetoric to pry open Canada’s domestic dairy market may be a way for him to appease those interests.

Meanwhile, this week, Trump added more fuel to on his trade war with Canada, imposing hefty duties on lumber imports from there. As The Los Angeles Timesnoted, “Dairy and lumber are sensitive industries in the heartland and rural parts of America, and any moves to strengthen those domestic constituents could help the administration garner congressional support for its broader trade policy objectives.” And picking on Canada is less risky than picking on his usual targets, China and Mexico. “It’s not like Canada is going to open up the border and let a whole bunch of Central Americans into the United States. So Canada is a pretty safe target,” Laura Dawson, director of the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center, toldPolitico.

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Foothill High student uses cereal and milk to buy a cow for Tanzanian orphanage – OCRegister

TUSTIN Stevie the dairy cow has a very important job. Every day, she feeds a dozen abandoned babies  — with milk to spare for the other 60 children living in the Tanzanian orphanage.

Furthermore, she supplies a hefty dose of cuteness.

“Oh, she is such a sweetheart,” said Larry Kapchinsky, founder of Claremont-based KidCare International, which runs the orphanage. “I mean, she’s just a cow. But she’s a funny cow — very nosy and inquisitive.”

Stevie arrived at the orphanage last year as a gift from Kapchinsky’s niece, Foothill High senior Danielle Smith. The 17-year-old North Tustin girl approached him with her brainstorm when she was a sophomore.

First, Smith would need to raise $600, the cow’s price tag. But that hardly would be the end of it. Cows require hay and veterinary visits.

So she decided to milk her classmates for some cash.

Smith struck upon an apropos strategy — selling cereal with, of course, milk on campus. She secured permission from English teacher Josh Hermanson to set up shop in his classroom.

There, at least once a month, Smith erects a stand with a sign announcing, “We are cerealously buying a cow.” Her pit stop offers seven kinds of cereal, from sugary to whole grain.

“Fruit Loops are the biggest seller,” she said. “On some days the box of Special K is not even opened.”

Smith, who advertises cereal days on social media, hawks her goods for $2 a bowl. She offers traditional, soy and almond milk.

In the first year, she pocketed enough change to buy Stevie, named after her dad. Then she kept things going for Stevie’s upkeep.

“A lot of students get involved in projects largely for their college transcripts,” Hermanson said. “That’s not Danielle. She created this project herself and has diligently worked on it for three years.”

Since Smith cannot run her store all day, she relies on an honor system with students serving themselves. Zero period, at 6:48 a.m., proves an extra-enticing time of day for the breakfast treat.

“Everyone loves cereal,” Smith said. “And it’s fun to have a big selection.”

Plus, she said, fellow students enjoy supporting such a tangible cause — the care and feeding of an actual cow at a very real orphanage.

“People like to be a part of what it is and what it’s for,” Smith said.

Kapchinsky said Stevie is a welcome addition.

“She produces about seven liters of milk a day,” he said. “In third-world countries, most children never get to drink milk beyond the age of one.”

Soon to graduate and go off to college, where she will study environmental sciences, Smith hopes another student will volunteer to take over the charity.

“It shows that you can start small without a lot of planning and waiting,” Smith said. “If you want to do something, just do it.”

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Delhi eyes ID system to protect India's 190m cows – Financial Times

India has laid out an ambitious plan to assign a unique identification number to all of its 190m cattle, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government intensifies efforts to protect an animal revered as “the mother” of the nation.

The mandatory cattle identification scheme — similar to the biometrically linked ID numbers issued to 1.1bn Indians — has been proposed by India’s home ministry, which wants to stop the smuggling of old, unproductive cows to Bangladesh, where they are sought after for their meat and leather. 

As part of its comprehensive cow protection plan, India’s home ministry also wants every district to set up large cow shelters — essentially bovine retirement homes, where unproductive animals can be fed and looked after in their dotage. 

The ministry also wants anyone seeking to transport a cow to first obtain a “fitness to move” certificate from a government veterinarian. It said private parties should be prohibited from transporting cattle across state lines, restricting such movements exclusively to government agencies. 

The detailed cow protection plan comes as Mr Modi’s Bharatiya Janata party prioritises its drive to stop all cow slaughter — a crime that his home state of Gujarat made punishable by life imprisonment last month. 

Government rhetoric about stronger protection for cows has also been accompanied by a growing number of violent attacks by self-proclaimed “cow defenders” on Muslims found transporting cattle. This month a Muslim dairy farmer was beaten to death by vigilantes in Rajasthan after he purchased a dairy cow from Jaipur and tried to take it home to his village. 

The discourse over cow protection is highly polarising in India, given that many Muslims, as well as some low-caste Hindus, have traditionally considered beef more dinner than deity. 

India would not be the first country to require mandatory tagging of cows. In the EU, farmers must also obtain identification numbers for all cattle, whose births, deaths, illnesses and movements must be reported to a centralised tracing system. 

These tracing systems, set up in 1997 after the “mad cow disease” crisis, are use to control outbreaks of infectious diseases, ensure food safety standards and help calculate subsidies.

However, India’s scheme is intended solely for the protection of the cows, whose interests Mr Modi defended in an emotional 2014 tirade against the country’s rising meat exports, which had grown to $4.7bn a year, up from $1.1bn in 2009-10.

Supporting ever more aged cows will add to the pressure on India’s strained government finances. Rajasthan, which has become popular among international manufacturers, last month levied a new 10 per cent “cow protection” surcharge on stamp duties for mortgages and lease agreements to support its geriatric cattle.

Analysts suggest the cow protection campaign could backfire by deterring farmers from investing in cows, which will no longer have a market value once they stop producing milk.

According to the 2012 Livestock Census, India’s cattle population fell 4 per cent from 2007 to 2012, while the population of buffalo, which are not held sacred by Hindus and have traditionally faced few restrictions on their trade or movements, rose 3 per cent in the same period.

India also has about 5.2m stray cattle abandoned by owners either unable or unwilling to bear the hefty cost of feeding them. According to the Livestock Census, nearly 1m of these unwanted animals are in urban areas.

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3 children dead –

A fast-moving fire killed five people, including three children, as flames surged through a New York City home on a sunny spring afternoon, leaving authorities to scour for clues about what sparked the deadly flames.

The fire broke out Sunday afternoon shortly after 2:30 p.m., on a street full of single-family homes in the middle class neighbourhood of Queens Village. Television news footage showed flames chewing through the roof of the two-story home and roaring in upstairs rooms of the house as smoke poured from it. The neighbourhood is near Belmont Park, which hosts the Belmont Stakes, the final leg in horse racing’s Triple Crown.

“This is a devastation of a family,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said, speaking at the scene of the four-alarm fire. He said it was “a fire that moved very, very quickly, and the loss was horrendous.”

“There’s a lot we need to know about what happened here,” the Democrat added.

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said witnesses saw someone tumble from a two-story window as smoke billowed. The person, a roughly 46-year-old man, fell onto a porch roof and then a lawn and survived, he said.

Firefighters struggled to reach some of the victims who were as high up as the attic, a “super-human” task for firefighters to reach people in a home engulfed by such a massive fire, Nigro said. He said the wood-frame home burned rapidly.

Neighbour Dorothy Murray told reporters that when she looked out her door and saw the fire, “I could have fainted.”

“The fire was so intense — there’s no way in the world nobody could go over there to save nobody,” said Murray.

She said she babysat sometimes for one of the children — “cute little fellow,” she said. “He’s adorable.”

Fire officials said the victims ranged in age from 2 to 21, plus one adult who was somewhat older.

First-responders carried a limp child from the wreckage.

“It was the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” neighbour Foster McPhee, 67, told the New York Post. “The guy who was carrying the baby out, you could just see the stress on his face. I’m just emotional about it because I’m a grandfather and I have kids, too.”

There was no immediate theory on what started the blaze, but Nigro said there appeared to be no explosion, even though witnesses reported hearing loud booms.

Witness Tiasha Johnson told the Daily News of New York that the family’s relative screamed for the little ones.

“They were screaming, ‘Get the kids out! Get the kids out!'” Johnson said. “It took the firefighters a while to get in. The fire was pretty bad. They were jumping from the windows. The smoke was heavy.”

Firefighters tried to save the family even as the rescuers mourned one of their own, firefighter William Tolley, who died Thursday after falling five stories while battling a blaze in Queens.

The fire was the deadliest in the nation’s biggest city since March 2015, when a house fire in Brooklyn killed seven children, all siblings. That fire was touched off by a hot plate.

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'Aadhaar Cards' For Cows? Centre Suggests System To Check Smuggling – NDTV

New Delhi: 
An Aadhaar-like unique identity system for cows has been proposed by the centre in the Supreme Court. Unique identification numbers will help track cows and prevent their smuggling, a committee appointed by the Home Ministry said today, amid a raging debate provoked by mob attacks by cow vigilantes in many states.

The court was hearing a petition by an organisation, the Akhil Bharat Krishi Goseva Sangh, which alleged rampant smuggling of cattle across the border to Bangladesh.

The UID number should be mandatory and should have details like “age, breed, sex, lactation, height, body, color, horn type, tail switch, special marks details of the animal”, the committee suggested.

It also recommended that the state government be responsible for the safety and care of abandoned animals.

Each district, the committee suggested, should have a shelter home of 500-capacity for abandoned animals to help reduce smuggling and such units should be funded by the state.

The Supreme Court will take up the case tomorrow. The committee is led by the joint secretary of the home ministry.

The petitioner wants the court to ask the Railways to check illegal transporting of cattle.

A series of cow vigilante attacks have stirred protests and anger in recent weeks in states like Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and Jharkhand, especially as it is the victims of thrashing that have been charged or arrested by the police first, for allegedly transporting cows illegally.

In Rajasthan, a diary owner, Pehlu Khan, was beaten to death while he was transporting livestock bought from a fair in Jaipur. He and his companions were attacked even though they had a permit.

Reacting to the ID proposal, Left leader D Raja said, “The government should take strong action against cow vigilantes groups and those who resort to violence.”

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Environment, agriculture ministries tread cautiously on cow slaughter law – Livemint

New Delhi: Amid mounting attacks by cow protection vigilantes, two Union ministries can’t seem to be able to make up their minds about which one of them is to draft a national law on protecting the cow, apparently unwilling to tackle the sensitive issue.

On 23 December, the ministry of environment, forests and climate change, led by Anil Madhav Dave, sent a letter to the agriculture ministry’s department of animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries (cattle division) to explore the option of enacting a national law to prohibit cow slaughter, and selling of beef or beef products. Only five states and one Union territory have no law on the subject. Of the rest, in some states cow slaughter and beef consumption is completely banned, and in the rest it is allowed after permission.

Four months on, the ministries are still undecided on who will finally frame the law.

“In response to MoEFCC’s letter, the agriculture ministry replied that the environment ministry should lead the issue and frame the law as it deals with welfare of animals,” said a senior environment ministry official, declining to be named.

The ministry, however, is of the view that welfare of cattle is the responsibility of the animal husbandry department.

“We have conveyed our opinion to the agriculture ministry. They should take a lead on the subject as they have all the experts on the subject. We will give our views whenever it would come up for inter-ministerial discussions,” the official added.

Another senior official of the environment ministry, also requesting anonymity, said, “It’s a sensitive issue and thus everyone wants to be extremely careful.”

The environment ministry’s December 2016 letter was the result of a judgement delivered in July 2016 by the Himachal Pradesh high court, which had asked the central government to “enact the law prohibiting slaughtering of cow/calf, import or export of cow/calf, selling of beef or beef products, in its wisdom, at national level”.

The high court’s its decision was stayed by the Supreme Court in January. However, the central government can still take a policy decision and enact such a law.

The reported hesitancy comes in the face of rising incidence of vigilantes attacking or lynching people on suspicion of taking cows to slaughter or eating beef.

Cow protection was an election pledge of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2014 general election, and since coming to power, the party has also heard demands to declare the cow as India’s national animal, replacing the tiger.

In 2015, the BJP-led Haryana government banned the sale of beef in any form and proposed imprisonment of 10 years for cow slaughter. In the same year, Maharashtra, also ruled by a BJP-led government, also banned the sale and consumption of beef and imposed a five-year jail term for cow slaughter.

However, in 2016, the Bombay high court struck down some sections of the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act that criminalized the possession of beef, saying they infringed on a person’s right to privacy.

In September 2015, a mob in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, killed Mohammad Akhlaq on the suspicion that his family stored and ate beef at home.

First Published: Mon, Apr 24 2017. 01 15 AM IST

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Cow attack on cattle-grazers – Calcutta Telegraph

Srinagar, April 22: Cow vigilantes assaulted a group of nomad families in Jammu last evening while they were migrating to Kashmir with their livestock in keeping with a centuries-old practice, leaving young and old injured and traumatised and a boy allegedly missing.

The families said the attackers took away their money and possessions, including cattle and dogs. The mob apparently suspected the families of smuggling cattle to Kashmir for slaughter although the nomads, called Gujjars and Bekerwals, have been taking their livestock to graze in the Valley’s meadows every summer.

Reasi superintendent of police Tahir Bhat said that two persons – an elderly man and a woman – were injured in the assault in the Talwara area of Jammu’s Reasi district. But the families said at least four persons had been admitted to hospital and a boy was missing.

A woman who said she was badly beaten up alleged that the mob had arrived carrying sickles and rods and had tried to sexually assault the women.

“We feared they might kill us. All of us were crying. They did not even spare my aged uncle. A 10-year-old boy is missing; we are worried about him,” she said.

The families have identified the injured as Sabir Ali, Nazakat Ali, Naseema Begum and a nine-year-old girl, Sammi.

Police sources acknowledged that the nine-year-old girl had been thrashed and admitted to hospital but would not count her among the injured.

“There are no visible injuries on her body but she is in shock. Two injured adults have multiple fractures,” an officer said.

Sources said the police were delaying any arrests fearing a law-and-order problem.

Thousands of Muslim nomads from Poonch, Rajouri, Reasi and other districts of Jammu migrate to Kashmir during the summer with their sheep, goats and sometimes cows and bulls.

Javaid Rahi, an activist and scholar working for tribal communities, said that Jammu was witnessing an increasing intolerance against the Gujjar migration, and that such attacks had been happening for a long time.

“The nomads are regularly harassed when the annual migration starts. April is the most sensitive month. We keep urging the authorities to provide them with protection,” he said.

“We have asked the district magistrate of Reasi to investigate the attack.”

Mian Altaf Ahmad, a politician from the main Opposition party, the National Conference, accused ruling allies People’s Democratic Party and the BJP of patronising “hooliganism and vandalism”.

“The delay in arrests is unfortunate. The police should act under the law without any pressure from those who patronise such hooliganism,” he said.

Cow vigilantism has been on the rise in Jammu. A year and a half ago, a 20-year-old Kashmiri trucker, Zahid Ahmad, was killed after the discovery of cattle carcasses at Udhampur in Jammu.

Zahid was sleeping in his truck near the site on October 9, 2015, when he was attacked with a petrol bomb and his truck was set on fire.

Investigations later revealed that the cows had died of food poisoning and that the rumours of slaughter had been spread to inflame passions.

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5 Including 9-Year-Old Girl Attacked By Cow Vigilantes In Jammu And Kashmir – NDTV

Five members of a family including a 9-year-old girl have been injured in an attack by ‘gau rakshaks‘ or self-styled cow vigilantes in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir. The incident took place on Friday evening when a nomad family was moving with their livestock near the Talwara area. They were intercepted by a large group of gau rakshaks and beaten up with iron rods.

The victims say the attackers took away their entire flock including goats, sheep and cows. The injured, 9-year-old Sammi, who have suffered multiple fractures have been shifted to hospital.

The police said they have filed an FIR and action will be taken against the attackers. “We have registered an FIR. I have asked DIG of Udhampur range to visit the area. Strict action will be taken against these goons,” said Jammu and Kashmir police chief SP Vaid said.

Police in Reasi said they have identified five of the attackers but no one has been arrested so far. “We are investigating the case and culprits will be brought to book,” said a police officer in Reasi.

The victims say they can’t forget the horror. “They beat us ruthlessly. Somehow we managed to flee from there. One of our children, a 10-year-old, is still missing. We don’t know whether he is alive or dead. They even beat our elders very badly. They wanted to kill us and throw our bodies into the river,” said Naseem Begam, one of the victims.

Besides goat, sheep, the family were moving with 16 cows. “They didn’t even spare dogs. They too were taken away,” she said.

Jammu and Kashmir has a large number of nomadic herder families, who travel between the Jammu’s Himalayan mountains and the meadows of Kashmir every year with their flocks of cattle, horses, goats and sheep.

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