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Lost a mithun? Chip will track it down

- Device, to be implanted in animals, to help settle ownership disputes

Silchar, July 16: The mithun, a semi-domesticated wild buffalo found in Mizoram, is to be embedded with a microchip to help in the process of easy identification, according to sources in the veterinary and animal husbandry department in Aizawl.

The sources added that the mithuns have an ingrained habit of foraging for grass and other edibles in both jungles and human habitations.

They pointed out that in the process the animals very often get lost, and when found out it becomes difficult for their owners to stake claim, as it is hard to differentiate one from the other.

The microchips would have a 15-digit number, on the basis of which it would become very easy for the owners to identify the animals.

The chips cannot be easily removed without special technical expertise, and so it can remain implanted in the bodies of the animals throughout their life. So, the possible disputes over ownership, which generally occur frequently in Mizoram, could be easily tackled.

The sources added that each microchip could be easily injected into the animals without any fuss and causing irritation to the bulky animal. The meat of the animal is consumed throughout the state.

The population of mithuns in Mizoram is now proliferating, much to the pleasure of the government in the tiny state, which has been offering incentives to the people for rearing the animal.

According to L.B. Sailo, the director of veterinary and animal husbandry department in Mizoram, the number of mithuns in the state has marked a boom in the past five years from 1,939 in 2007 to 3,283 in 2012, thus registering an increase of 1,344.