The Telegraph
Saturday , September 8 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Govt to count pets this month

Calcutta, Sept. 7: The animal resources department will conduct a pet census in the state from September 15 to October 14.

The Centre funds the pet census, it is held every five years.

“The census will go on for a month and the results will be known on October 15. Nearly 12,000 officials of the animal resources department as well as volunteers will be involved. The main purpose behind the census is to find out how a particular animal or bird is reared,” said Uday Sankar Nandy, special secretary of the department and milk commissioner.

“For example, if it is found that goat meat is becoming scarce in the market, the census will help us find out whether villagers are rearing lesser number of goats and if so why,” Nandy said.

He said the officials will visit every house across the state and take stock of the pets. They will make a count of the number of pet dogs, stray dogs, cows, buffaloes, goats, rabbits, sheep, hens, fowls, ducks, emu, camel, horses and elephants.

A department official said that in households where pets are kept, the residents will be asked questions on how they were rearing the animal, about its vaccination, medicines and what kind of food the animals and birds were given.

“If we go to a house in a village where they have cows, we will ask them how many cows they have, whether they have been vaccinated, the medicines they have been given and we will ask them about their fodder. If a house has poultry, similar questions will be asked on medicines and the feed. We will also see under what kind of environment the animals and birds are being reared,” said the official.

An official said that the census teams would cover all the gram panchayat areas in the state. In the city and in municipality areas, the civic bodies will help the ARD department to conduct the census.

A senior official of the department said such census also help to know the environment in which pets are kept. “If it is found that they are kept in unhygienic condition then the owners of the pets would be advised how to keep the pets. The census will reflect the general health of the pets and may also indicate if there is outbreak of disease of any particular animal or bird in any area,” the official said.