The Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK) has requested the government to exempt the nine zoos under its jurisdiction from the anti-cow slaughter ordinance. It is learnt that the ZAK’s request has been moved through the Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences.
The zoos under ZAK including Mysuru zoo and Bengaluru Bannerghatta Biological Park require a total of 1,400 kg of beef daily to feed the tigers, lions, leopards and other carnivores.
Though buffaloes above the age of 13 are permitted to be slaughtered under the new law, their availability in the State is limited. Hence, a request has been sent to the government to exempt the zoos from the ordinance.
ZAK incurs an annual expenditure of around ₹6.5 to ₹7 crore towards supplying beef to all carnivores in the 9 zoos. If the authorities are forced to supply mutton to animals, they fear the bill will cross ₹18 crore per annum. The large zoos – Mysuru zoo and BBP – are self-financed. Any additional expenditure on the food of the animals, particularly at a time when the footfall has drastically declined, will further erode their financial stability.