Renowned anti-globalisation activist Vandana Shiva on Friday asked Yoga guru Baba Ramdev to be “
swadeshi
”, after reports of him planning to start a programme for artificial insemination of Indian cows with semen from Brazilian bulls to improve the breed.

The programme is reportedly for the dairy unit of Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved Ltd. to produce more milch, or female, cows and increase milk production. There are also unconfirmed reports of the programme involving the slaughter of bulls “that have no use.”

Ms. Shiva told The Hindu, “Swadeshi thought recognises the value of animal energy for small sustainable farms, which you say you are connected to. The day you say bulls are useless and I will kill them, you are saying I will destroy the small farm, I will destroy the soil, I will hand over our farm to multinationals.”Speaking on the sidelines of the 4th India for Animals conference, organised by the Federation of Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) here, she also asked Ramdev to respect the “sacred cow and not create milk machines”, adding despite its talk of conserving cows, India has become the largest exporter of beef in the last five years.

She said a report on “ecocide and genocide” by agriculture company Monsanto for the crop epidemic, allegedly caused by the company’s BT cotton seeds in Punjab, has been submitted to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). Over 400 national and international animal rights activists are expected to atttend the three-day conference, which aims to build a connection between activists and organisations to create a more informed animal protection movement in the country.

Varda Mehrotra, director, FIAPO, said, “It is wonderful to see so many people come together . Contrary to common belief, animal protection involves more than dog and cat rescues. It is a bigger bucket that involves every aspect of an animal’s well-being, from how they are kept on farms to their last moments in the slaughterhouse.”

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