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India’s Sacred Strays – Millions of Urban Cows Living Alongside Humans

Like many other cities around the world, Indian urban communities have large numbers of stray dogs living alongside their human inhabitants. But canines are not India’s biggest stray problem, cows are. They cause thousands of road accidents every month, block traffic and spread disease. The Government has long been aware of the many issues caused by cows roaming free on busy city roads, but no one seems to know what to do about them.

Stray cows have been a part of Indian urban life for as long as anyone can remember, but they’ve become increasingly problematic in recent years, with the development of infrastructure and the increase in the number of cars driving on Indian roads. Urban cows don’t fear traffic, so it’s not unusual to see them loitering, in the middle of the road, unperturbed by honking or drivers trying to scare them away. Violence is not acceptable, as cows are considered sacred, and harming them in any way would enrage Hindus, so people have to keep their frustration in check, no matter how bad things get.

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