India’s first cow sanctuary aims to produce cosmetic ingredients

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

India’s first cow sanctuary aims to produce cosmetic ingredients
A 472 hectare cow sanctuary has been given the go ahead in Madhya Pradesh’s Agar-Malwa district, and could be put to use to make cosmetics derived from the waste of the 6,000-strong herd.

The sanctuary has been given the go ahead by local government and is expected to go into production by the start of 2017, according to a report in the Hindustan Times.

According to Hinduism, the most widely practiced religion in the country, the cow is sacred and can never be slaughtered. As a result the animals roam freely all over Indian, including the major metropolitan hubs where they can often cause problems.

In India cows roam everywhere

Indeed, the reverence shown to the sacred cows means that an estimated 40,000 cattle that are no longer fit for farming are free to roam the streets of New Delhi, alone.

But it is in the state of Madhya Pradesh, the home of the cow sanctuary, where the highest cattle population in India can be found, with an estimated cattle count of almost 20 million.

Obviously in the country’s fast-developing metropolises, which are being defined by growing populations and traffic problems, having cattle wondering all over the place can lead to a number of hazards, not least the fact that the animal’s waste ends up everywhere.

Which is all part of the reasons for the cow sanctuary initiative.

Cosmetics, medicines, fertlizers

The sanctuary will be located in the village of Salriya, and will include a production facility, as well as a research and development facility, while also acting as a pilgrimage destination for Hindustanis.

The facility already houses 500 cows, but that number should be up the target herd of 6,000 by the beginning of 2017.

The production and processing facility will be treating to cow dung and urine to produce the ingredients for a wide range of cosmetics, together with extracts used in bio-fertilizers, ayurvedic medicines and pesticides.

Commonly cow waste has been used to produce a pleasant vanilla-smelling scent that has been used in a variety of cosmetic and personal care products.

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