Lucknow: A cow welfare cess has been introduced by the Uttar Pradesh government according to which 0.5 per cent cess will be levied on excise items. Some of the items covered by the “gau kalyan” cess are alcohol apart from toll tax, and several public sector infrastructure companies that will provide funds for the construction and maintenance the of cow shelters across the state. The policy was cleared by the UP Cabinet on Tuesday.

According to a report by Times of India, farmers in the state have begun locking up cows inside schools and police stations to show their protest against the menace posed by the stray cattle. At least three such incidents in the state have been brought to notice.

In December 2018, a police inspector and a civilian died in an altercation between the police personnel and the locals in Bulandshahr. The protest was over alleged cow slaughter.

The stray cattle menace has become severe, ever since the government cracked down on illegal slaughterhouses in the state. Farmers in Uttar Pradesh allegedly incurred severe losses due to the destruction caused by stray cattle to their cropland. Three BJP members reportedly informed the Lok Sabha on Monday about the stray cattle menace in their villages. Cows straying on the roads have also caused road accidents. Several other cases which were reported across the state included the smuggling of cows, stealing them for cow meat and mob lynching for eating cow meat. Moreover, no proper care is given to the ageing cows. Such cows are simply abandoned, stated reports.