Bovine politics, cricket balls and foreign cows!

Ban on cow slaughter and strict enforcement of the same (ban usually implies enforcement, but not in India) is leading to all kinds of problems.

The latest is cricket balls which are made from cow leather. As there is shortage of cow leather and fear of getting the same, cricket ball prices have zoomed. They are trying buffalo leather but is not as good a substitute:

As the heat mounts on illegal cattle transporters in north India, its effects are being felt not just on dining tables.

The cricket ball manufacturing industry is facing the pressure as well with a significant dip in the supply of illegal leather. It has, in turn, led to a rise in the price of cricket balls by almost 100%.

“Because of the madness here, we have to import leather from the UK. This is expensive because it involves import duty and other taxes. Ultimately, it is the consumer who is suffering. A ball being sold for Rs 400 a year ago, is now Rs 800,” the director of a Meerut-based brand told Hindustan Times.

The industry is dependent on cow leather, which is legally and illegally procured from states where cow slaughter is not banned. But the fear of harm among traders, in the wake of recent incidents and increase in the “protection money” sought by local police, has led to an increase in the price of cowhide.

Smaller units are using buffalo skin as an alternative, but manufacturers say the thick hide is not a good alternative. “Buffalo skin is not suitable for ‘alum tanning’ (the process of preparing it before ball making). The hide has issues like colour penetration and waterproofing. It is also time consuming. If one man makes 10 balls with cow leather, it will be six with buffalo hide,” Mahajan said.


Such decisions could force the cricket ball industry to states where it is not banned. But these are usually small units and relocation a costly affair. So demand will be hit. People will shift to say hard tennis balls wherever possible and so on.

The next article is on which cow can be treated as a mother. Only the desi ones! Jerseys not allowed:

It seems not all cows can be called ‘Mata’. Not even the Jersey and Holstein Friesian breeds which have contributed to the white revolution in Gujarat with their high yields of milk. When it comes to revering the cow for its nourishing milk, apparently only the native Indian breed qualifies.
During the Rath Yatra in Ahmedabad on Wednesday, several hoardings and banners had sprung up at some places on the Yatra route appealing to people not to rear or promote foreign breeds of milch animals.

One such hoarding put up by Bansari Gaushala in Bakrol outside the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) office displayed pictures of the “Indian cow” and those of “videshi Jersey cow”. The banner appealed to devotees to feed only Indian cows as a matter of ritual. “The Indian Gau Matas’ milk, urine, dung are holy. Recent scientific research has shown how cow urine has gold.Besides this, cow milk has A2 proteins which is safe for health,” the message on the banner read.

The banner referred to the “Jersey cow” as a “foreign milk giving animal” and claimed that its “milk, dung and urine are not pure.” It also alleged that foreign cow milk has A1 proteins which are harmful for health.

Vallabh Kathiria, chairman of Gauseva Ayog and Gauchar Vikas Board, pointed out that not all milch animals are cows. “The Jersey cow is one milk giving animal among 55,000 mammals,” he said. “Indian cows have a hump which is not there in European milch animals. For instance, Nilgai is not a cow nor can you call a camel or buffalo a cow. We have been conducting extensive awareness activities. The banners seen on Rath Yatra route today may have been put up by NGOs or private dairy bodies which are also helping spread awareness,” Kathiria said.



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