The goshala, which is owned by a private trust, houses around 30 cows, including 12 calves.

Kerala govt steps in after cows at goshala near Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple found malnourished
news Animal Cruelty Thursday, July 11, 2019 - 08:17

In 2013, a goshala or cow shelter was set up near the premises of the famous Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram, in order to ensure that unadulterated milk is provided to the temple for ritualistic purposes. Fast forward to July 2019, the condition of the goshala, which is owned by a private trust, is pitiable, to say the least. The goshala, which is located near the Kuthira Malika palace near the temple, houses around 30 cows, including 12 calves.

“It has been understood that the cows here have been deprived of proper food and shelter. Our priority will be providing the cows with proper food,” said Advocate K Raju, State Minister of Forests, Wildlife Protection and Animal Husbandry, after visiting the goshala on Wednesday morning.

The state of the cow shelter was brought to the attention of the media and the public after residents living near the temple found that a dog had reportedly killed a calf at the shelter last week. Following the incident, the locals found that most of the cows were malnourished, some could hardly stand up.

TNM visited the cow shelter and found that the conditions of the shelter were indeed pathetic.

What surprised many who had gathered near the shelter was that the cows, which give milk to one of the richest temples in the world, were tied up underneath a makeshift tarpaulin sheet, which serves as a roof. This sheet does not cover the entire shed and is also torn at many places, exposing these animals to heavy rains and heat in the last few days. 

According to advocate RS Vijay Mohan, secretary of the Paithruka Samrakshana Samithi (a heritage conservation committee), the cow shelter is owned by a private trust called Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple Goshala Trust. Apart from Vijay Mohan, actor and BJP MP Suresh Gopi is also part of the trust.

Following complaints from the public, Kadakampally Surendran, State Minister of Tourism and Devaswom, visited the shelter on Tuesday to take a note of the situation.“It has been found that that the cow dung and other waste have not been cleared in a timely manner and also the animals are not provided food on time,” said the minister, who said that lack of funds by the private trust is the main reason behind the condition.

In addition to this shelter, there is another cow shelter run by the Padmanabhaswamy Temple in the same neighbourhood, the Minister said. “The temple obtains milk for the temple ritual from here as well. We will get in touch with all those who are behind the trust, including Suresh Gopi, and discuss the issue in detail,” said Kadakampally Surendran.

‘Will ensure all help’: Govt

Following Kadakampally Surendran’s visit, the state Forest Minister K Raju visited the place on Wednesday morning and ensured that 15 sacks of fodder were brought to the goshala with the help of Kerala Feeds, a cattle feed manufacturing company of the Government of Kerala.

The Minister has also ensured a complete health check of the cattle. “A team of doctors will be sent by the government immediately,” he stated.

“A case of animal cruelty will be taken against the private trust. The calves are not given proper shelter. The government is not liable to provide food to the cow shelter but after seeing the condition of the shelter, it will ensure that all necessary help is provided, the Forest Minister said


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