Ajay Singh, Uttar Pradesh BJP MLA from Barabanki has said that the cows in the cow shelters of the state have died of natural causes. Ajay Singh’s claim comes amidst the outrage and the controversy that have erupted following the death of over 200 cows in a span of days in shelters across Uttar Pradesh.

“Every animal has a life span. Cattle live up to 20 years and most of them have a life span of 12 to 13 years. Most of the cows in cow shelters have died a natural death,” Ajay Singh told reporters on Wednesday.

Ajay Singh said that he had demanded that ambulance services should be started for animals just like for the victims of road accidents.

Last week in Prayagraj, about 35 cows had died in a cow shelter due to lighting while 36 cows were found dead in shelters in Ayodhya and Pratapgarh. Last month, over a dozen cows allegedly starved to death in Jalalabad cow shelter of Kannauj district, triggering protests by locals.

Locals in Barabanki’s Safdarganj had alleged that some cows at a cow shelter died due to lack of fodder and water and poor maintenance.

“We do not get proper fodder for cattle. No sufficient funds provided for the upkeep of the shelter. Around two to three cattle have died due to miserable conditions of shelter,” a worker at the cow shelter had said.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had suspended eight officials for laxity in the maintenance of cow shelters and announced that the government will give Rs 30 on a daily basis for each cattle for the fodder if the owners are not using them for commercial purpose. He instructed the officials to take this plan as a pilot project in the Bundelkhand region.

The Uttar Pradesh government had allocated Rs 600 crore for cow welfare in the 2019-20 budget.

(With agency inputs)