TODAY -

Conserving the breed
- Hueiyen Lanpao Editorial :: July 01 2015 -



The latest Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India’s report had clearly indicted the Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Department for its inability to formulate policy pertaining to the conservation of the rare Manipuri Pony (Meetei Sagol) considered threatened breed of livestock.

According to the report, the population of the endangered species had substantially declined from 1037 in 2007 to less than 500 in 2014 with the high risk of extinction.

The department has not been able to take advantage of the Government of India’s initiative on conservation of such animal breeds.

Measures for improving livestock production and steps to control disease were not taken up due to “mismanagement and misappropriation” in the areas of procurement, storage and distribution of medicines, vaccines, concentrate feed for livestock, appliance and creation of infrastructure like hospitals and dispensaries for the not just the Manipuri Pony but also other animals.

The report serves as a wake-up call for those who had acknowledged the importance of conserving the rare Manipuri Pony but had done little precious towards the effort of conservation.

While noting the CAG report, what the discerning citizens should now do is prevail upon the government to take the matter seriously.

The responsible authorities should be repeatedly reminded that conserving the Meetei Sagol known for its extreme agility, speed, stamina and intelligence has now become a necessity and not just a matter of policy or programme based trivia.

The people should be seriously reminded that the Meetei Sagol, known as the Samadon Ayangba, the speedy beast and its contributions to the state’s mythological, indigenous game of Polo and martial tradition have been responsible for sculpting the identity of the community.

It is said that the animal is sacred to the Meeteis and even the ancient Meitei texts had depicted the pony for its immense utility on and off the war zones.

If the people of the land take pride in claiming that the modern game of Polo originated in Manipur, there is no reason why conserving this rare breed should not be accorded top most priority.

While stating the obvious, one should also appreciate the private and public contributions of organizations and individuals who have already initiated noteworthy efforts towards this end.



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