A plan is underway to give 'Aadhar'-like identity cards to cows in India.
The animals are considered sacred to the Hindu community, and several states, including Maharashtra, have issued decrees banning their slaughter. Now they will be given "animal health cards", similar to the Aadhar system in place for India's human citizens, according to reports.
The plan to assign 12-digit identification numbers to the 41 million buffaloes and 47 million cows in India by end of this year was initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.
Aimed to boost the income of the dairy sector by 2022, yellow, tamper-proof tags are being attached to the animals' ears by 100,000 technicians across India, reported the Telegraph.
The identity cards will be held by the owners, and they can track activities and information about each cattle through an online database.
Such information would ensure timely vaccinations, monitoring breeding cycles, and allow for scientific intervention improving breeding and quality milk production.
To cause minimal inconvenience to the animals, the tags are designed to last for years and weigh just 8g.
This is not the first time cows have been issued with cards in India, albeit on such a large scale.
According to the Telegraph, in 2007, border guards began issuing cows in West Bengal villages with identity cards, to deal with the smuggling of cattle to neighbouring Bangladesh.