Neten Dorji | Trashigang

During the recent dzongkhag tshogdu (DT), local leaders in Trashigang expressed concerns over the welfare of animals in the area. 

The DT members sought to find a permanent solution to address the issue of free-ranging animals in villages. 

Samkhar gup Jamyang, noted that the gewog administration had difficulty identifying the owners of the animals due to a lack of care. 

He stated that there was a high risk of these animals spreading diseases to milking jersey cows. Despite the administration having issued notifications about the issue, the problem has not been addressed.

The leaders said that the vast number of horses and animals had damaged grazing grounds, while the fodder was insufficient for local animals. Horses had also caused damage to vegetables and crops. 

Phongmey gup Namgyel Wangdi explained how 20 horses had already been transported elsewhere, yet there remained many more free-ranging animals. 

Villagers in the area also expressed concerns over the animals grazing along the Trashigang-Samdrupjongkhar highway, where accidents have occurred. 

A farmer, Wangdi Gyeltshen, added that regulating the issue was necessary to protect crops and pastureland. 

Speaking at the DT, Dzongkhag Livestock Officer, Naina S Tamang, explained the legal situation of the governing authorities to fine those who were releasing the animals. 

He said that the animals  have certain rights to live, but if they are rescued and released freely, the tshethar tshogpa is responsible to take care of the cattle. 

The guideline on animal tshethar practices of 2018 mandates regular monitoring of such animals;non-compliance would lead to enforcement under the Livestock Rules and Regulations of Bhutan 2017. 

The DT has called for a notification to be circulated, after which the respective gewog administration will auction off any uncared-for cattle.