NEW DELHI – A flood of memes on social media has forced a government body to withdraw its appeal that people should hug a cow on Valentine’s Day.
In the appeal on Wednesday, the Animal Welfare Board of India backed up its advice on hugging a cow on Valentine’s Day with examples like it would bring “emotional richness” and increase “individual and collective happiness”.
The board functions under the Animal Husbandry Ministry, headed by the BJP’s Parshottam Rupala.
“As directed by the competent authority and Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, the appeal issued by the Animal Welfare Board of India for the celebration of Cow Hug Day on February 14 stands withdrawn,” media reports quoted the board’s secretary S.K. Dutta as saying in a statement.
Cases of couples getting thrashed in different Indian cities by groups of men are common on Valentine’s Day, especially in rural regions.
On Thursday when the initial appeal was issued, the leader of the Dairy Farmers Federation of India Dayabhai Gajera remarked that thousands of cows had died in Gujarat alone, due to lumpy skin disease. “Where was the AWBI when our cows died recently? We have not got anything as compensation. The milk production has decreased by about 15 to 20%,” Gajera said. “The love they show to cows is just fake. If they really want to support cattle, they must support dairy farmers and compensate for our losses due to lumpy skin disease,” he added.