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| Last Updated:: 16/08/2014

Camel made Rajasthan State animal

 The Rajasthan government on Monday declared the camel as the State animal. The decision, taken at a Cabinet meeting held in Bikaner, aims to check the dwindling number of camels.


The State government is also in the process of drafting a new law to prevent slaughter, illegal trade and transportation and has announced that it will include camel milk in its food security programme. Camels provide livelihood to a large number of people in rural Rajasthan.

The ‘ship of the desert’ is slaughtered for its meat, killed as part of sacrifice in several districts of Rajasthan and illegally transported to the neighbouring states for slaughter which had resulted in its numbers falling sharply. Fast disappearing grazing areas has also added to a severe food crisis for camels.

According to the Livestock Census data, there were 668,000 camels in 1997 which were reduced to 498,000 camels in 2003, amounting to a 25 per cent decrease in five years. By 2008, the number had decreased further by 13.5 per cent to 430426. The only district in which camel numbers increased during the period from 2003-2008 was Jaisalmer.