TODAY -

Preservation of endangered Manipuri Pony stressed
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, May 21 2024: A day-long consultative meeting on "Status on sustainable and preservation of Manipuri Pony" was organised under the joint initiative of Directorate of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Services and Manipuri Pony Society at the Farmers' Training Hall, Sanjenthong, here, on Tuesday.

Speaking as chief guest of the consultative meeting, Society president Prof Ch Priyoranjan pointed out that the population of pony has dipped to only 1100 with the preservation further impeded as outbreak of COVID-19 forced cessation of polo tournaments.

It is a fact that the Manipuri Pony is endangered now as the traditional Polo game could not been organised and there are no polo grounds in rural areas, he maintained while mentioning that the Manipur Pony Conservation and Development Policy was established in 2016 to ensure the well-being and increase number of ponies.

However, there is urgent need to assess to what extent the said policy has been implemented in the state, he opined and called for concerted efforts from stakeholders concerned in saving the horse species rather than leaving it to the government to protect and preserve Manipuri Pony.

Polo and equestrian clubs too need to play their part in the preservation of pony, the president emphasised.

Prof Priyoranjan further stated that as there are encouraging number of polo and equestrian clubs, these entities should make proposals to the government for protection of Manipuri Ponies.

Additionally, there should be assistance by the government in encouraging rearing of ponies in rural areas, he maintained.

Stating that increasing number of Manipuri Ponies, which has been declining recently, is an achievable task, the Society president stressed that the focus should be on sustaining their growth.

Therefore, the consultative meeting has been organised with the primary goal of discussing strategies to preserve and protect Manipuri Ponies.

The meeting needs to adopt resolutions on this matter and submit them to the chief minister, who is also president of Pony Development Board.

Furthermore, he should be urged to establish a task force and implement necessary measures accordingly, the president said.

Delivering the presidential address, Veterinary and Animal Husbandry director Dr RK Khogendrajit said that the consultative meeting aims to adopt practical resolutions to save the Manipuri Ponies.

The Manipuri Pony, a horse breed indigenous to Manipur, is officially registered under the National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources, which falls under ICAR, in addition to the 'Kaonayen' which has also been recognised as indigenous to Manipur.

He also noted that the population of the Manipuri Pony, which was 1893 as per the 2003 Livestock Census Report, alarmingly decreased to 1089 in the 2019 Census Report.

The reduction in the number of wetlands, expansion in urbanisation and encroachment have significantly contributed to this decline by disrupting the natural habitat of the pony.

Additionally, the importance of addressing the issue of how Manipuri Ponies are utilised while developing measures to protect and preserve this indigenous horse breed, is also necessary, he added, while also pointing out the need to keep ponies at tourist spots as a means to generate revenue.

Among others, the consultative meeting was also attended by Manipur Equestrian Association chairman N Bedajeet as guest of honour.


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