Just a day after the Centre told the Supreme Court that cows in Jharkhand would get Aadhaar-like 12-digit unique identification (UID) number to protects cattle from being illegally transported in India, the process has already begun in which over 12,000 cows have been tagged with UIDs.

According to a report published in the Hindustan Times, “Jharkhand has tagged over 12,000 cows with 12-digit unique identification (UID) number to prevent illegal transportation of cattle.”

On April 24, the Centre told the apex court that it will soon approve identity tags for all cattle in the country that will document a range of data, including a unique number and the type of their horn and tail, in order to prevent smuggling of cattle.

In Jharkhand, there is around 42 lakh head of cattle, and 70% of them are cows.

Interestingly, even before Centre proposed 12-digit UID number for cattle, Jharkhand State Implement Agency for Cattle and Buffalo (JSIACB), a wing of the government of India, was working on a pilot project to tag its cattle with Aadhaar-like details in 8 districts – Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Dhanbad, Bokaro, Jamshedpur, Deoghar, Giridih and Lohardaga.

The pilot project is being carried under the Centre’s Information Network for Animal Productivity and Health (INAPH) scheme for the last one year.

INAPH’s Jharkhand nodal in-charge KK Tiwary said, “the information will be uploaded on the master data within a week.”

Tiwary further asserted, “each animal has been tagged with 12-digit UID numbers, which is fixed around its ears, with records of details such as age, breed, sex, lactation, height, body, colour, horn type, tail switch, special mark.”

“The Centre has recently directed us to extend the program to all 24 districts and tag at least 18 lakh cattle in a year,” he added.

Jharkhand is one of the few states in the country where the Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 2005, is in place. A penalty of Rs 5,000 and imprisonment of up to 5 years or both is awarded to offenders.