Published on January 2, 2008
Social Stigma and Religious Sentiments on Culling and Slaughter of Animals : Social Stigma and Religious Sentiments on Culling and Slaughter of Animals Possibilities and options Karma Tenzing Department of Livestock Order of Presentation: Order of Presentation Background Objectives Observations Problems Recommendations Actions taken Conclusion Background: Background Strong social and religious sentiments pose huge challenge to livestock development. Meat is an important ingredient of the Bhutanese diet. Background contd.: Background contd. The 6th RNR conference passed a resolution to conduct a study to better understand the issue and come up with ways to address the issue. Objective: Objective To create awareness on the necessity of culling and slaughter of animals. Explore mechanisms to promote culling. Observations: Observations Bhutanese, by and large, resent any form of culling and slaughter of animals due to religious sentiments and social stigma. Exceptions do exist depending upon the traditional role the livestock play in the society. Eg. Yak herder communities. Observations: Observations Younger generations are beginning to view farming as a business enterprise (Consultant report, 2005). Tougher decision making and management regime. For optimal maximization of profitability, productivity and production. Observations: Observations Examples from elsewhere show that economics and financial gains supplanted earlier religious and cultural restraints. Problems: Problems 1.More number of unproductive cattle: Intense competition for limited feed and fodder resource base-poor feeding regime Increased grazing pressure - environmental degradation and depletion of natural resource base. Local Cattle Vs Jersey Population: Local Cattle Vs Jersey Population Livestock Carrying Capacity (Samdup, 2004): Livestock Carrying Capacity (Samdup, 2004) Feed and Fodder Situation (Data source:RNR census, 2000): Feed and Fodder Situation (Data source:RNR census, 2000) Tsadrok.428,000 acre, Improved pasture 967 acres 90%hh …7% tsadrog/pasture Problems: Problems 2.Banning and closure of slaughter houses but demand for meat remains: Closure of an important market outlet. Force interested individuals to go underground. Encourage illegal slaughter of animals. Problems: Problems 3.Conflicting national and local level policy objectives: Conservation of natural resource base (esp Forest)(MOA) Vs Ban on slaughter and closure of slaughter house- encourage growth of unproductive animal population (LOCAL). Problems: Problems Enhancing sustainable economic production. Enhancing farmer’s income. Vs Ban on slaughter and closure of slaughter houses Restrictions on income generating opportunities Discourage commercialization Loss of viable economic opportunities by marginal communities Problems: Problems Number of “Tshethar” animals on the increase: Negative impact on the environment. Source of spread of livestock & zoonotic diseases Recommendations/Suggestions: Recommendations/Suggestions 1.Create enabling policy environment which will promote culling directly or otherwise: Establish proper slaughter houses with requisite infrastructure and facilities. Encourage humane slaughter methods. Lifting of ban on slaughter of animals from those Dzongkhags where ban is existing. Recommendation/Suggestion: Recommendation/Suggestion MoA, MoHA and Dratsang Lhentsog should start a dialogue. If slaughter is banned in a district, MOA should not allow flow of meat items into that district. Recommendations/Suggestions: Recommendations/Suggestions 2.Create awareness and sensitize on the advantages of keeping few productive animals: Conduct extension campaign on the advantages Sensitize and educate GYT members and village elders on the need to weed out the uneconomical and non-producers. Recommendations/Suggestions: Recommendations/Suggestions 3.Institute appropriate incentive mechanism: Cattle exchange programme- explore the possibility of providing the initial capital seed money for starting a revolving fund. Recommendations/Suggestions: Recommendations/Suggestions Focus approach to exploit comparative advantage for maximum impact: Commercial and semi commercial dairy, poultry, piggery and fishery in peri-urban and other potential areas. Actions taken so far to promote culling: Actions taken so far to promote culling Sensitization of farmers and extension agents. Meetings Workshops Field visits Brain storming session Scrub bull sterilization programme. Animal identification system. Conclusion: Conclusion Religious sentiments and social stigma is a reality and need to be addressed. Reconciliation of national and local government policy is needed. Conclusion: Conclusion Changing people’s attitude and behavior is the hardest thing- it’s a process. Public awareness and education is critical. Creating an enabling environment is even more critical. Slide25: Meat, meat, meat…..is it something we don’t want to live without….. So How to make it available? Ka-Drin-Chey-La: Ka-Drin-Chey-La Thank you very much for your kind attention.