To curb its illegal trade, ‘Camel’ declared as the State animal of Rajasthan
Camel has been declared as the state animal of Rajasthan. The State government is also in the process of drafting a new legislation to prevent slaughter, illegal trade and transportation. It has announced that it will introduce camel milk in its food security programme. Camels are source of livelihood to a huge number of people in rural Rajasthan.
The decision was taken by Vasundhara Raje, CM of Rajasthan, on the last day of the ‘Sarkar Aapke Dwar’ campaign.
However, the ‘Ship of the desert’ as it is famously known, is slaughtered for its meat, killed as part of sacrifice in several regions of Rajasthan and it is also illegally transported to the neighboring states for slaughter which has resulted in sharp decline in its numbers. Adding to this problem is fast disappearing grazing areas which has created a severe food crisis for these animals.
As per the Livestock Census data, there were 668,000 camels in 1997 which declined to 498,000 camels in 2003 which shows a 25% decrease in five years. The population had reduced further by 13.5% to 430426 in year 2008.
The exception was only Jaisalmer as it was the only district during the period 2003-2008 where camel numbers increased.