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Thursday, July 17, 2014
The decision to declare Camel as State Animal was taken during a State Cabinet meet held in Bikaner on the last day of Sarkar Aapke Dwar campaign. The Cabinet meet was chaired by Vasundhara Raje, the Chief Minister of Rajasthan.
Camel as an animal provide livelihood to numerous people of Rajasthan and is called as a ship of desert. However, over the years these animals are slaughtered for its meat and are also illegally transported to neighbouring states. Camels are also killed as part of sacrifice in several districts of the Rajasthan. As a result, the camel population in Rajasthan has dwindled sharply.
As per the Livestock Census data, 668000 camels were recorded in 1997 which has gone down to 498000 in 2003. This means 25 percent decrease in a period of five years. In the next five year census data, the population went down by 13.5 percent to 430426. The census also highlighted that the population during 2003-08 period increased in Jaisalmer district.
Thus, besides declaring Camel as the State Animal, the State government is also in a process to draft a new law that bans slaughter, illegal trade and transportation of camels. The step includes camel milk in its food security programme and fast disappearing grazing areas leading to severe food crisis for camels.