The Tamil Nadu State government has extended the lockdown till 30th April; it has affected the availability of the cattle and equine feed, leading to an increase in the prices. To keep their cattle and horses well-fed, the cattle owners have to pay twenty percent extra.
One of the sources told that after 22nd March, the supply of the oil cake, bran and husk has fallen as the trucks used for transporting the feed are not available. For a fortnight, the situation continued till it was brought to the notice of the government, which permitted to transport.
But the situation didn’t change immediately as the truck drivers refused to operate their vehicles. Finally, after a lot of deliberation and intervention, the drivers agreed to operate for shorter distances, and after the cattle owner promised to pay for the down trip said one of the sources who owned a farm in the outskirts of the city.
The co-founder of People for animals Shiranee Pereira said the situation is similar for equine feed. In their shelter in the red hills, they have twenty-five horses and ponies. After the lockdown started, their regular barn supplier failed to supply the feed. They were, however, able to get the feed from Tiruvallur and a shop in Triplicane in Chennai.
The price 35kg of gunny bag of the coarse wheat barn, which was sold at Rs. 800 to Rs. 830 before lockdown, but after lockdown, the same wheat barn is being sold at Rs. 1,100, which is not available easily nowadays.
The truck drivers are not ready to travel to Chennai with husk, bran, and straw for cattle that are readily available in Thanjavur district. As a result, the price has increased by twenty percent. At Rs. 230, a bundle of straw weighing 30kg was being sold, but the prices have increased due to hurdles being faced in the supply chain due to the ongoing lockdown.
Shiranee and her team procured about twenty-five bags, each weight thirty-five kg of coarse wheat, bran from Tiruvallur, and Triplicane. They distributed them to the owners of horses used for joy rides at Marina and Elliot’s beaches.