In a unique initiative, the Delhi government is planning to club a cow shelter with old age home, news agency IANS reported quoting Delhi Minister of Development and Aam Aadmi Party leader, Gopal Rai on Thursday, 10 January.The plan was announced by Rai on 9 January after a conference on the 'Animal Health and Welfare Policy-2018’.Speaking to media on the city's first Animal Health and Welfare Policy, the Delhi minister indicated that animals and humans as they grow older, are forced to abandon home.“It is common that people keep a cow only till it gives milk and throws it out when it is of no use. A similar thing happens with humans. With age, when humans are not of any use, they are forced out of their homes. We are planning a unique coexistence programme where elderly will be allowed to stay with cows.”Gopal Rai, Delhi Minister of Development Rai announced that the government is planning to revamp the Ghumanhera cow shelter in the city adding, the cow shelter will be the ‘most advanced one in the country'.The Delhi government currently has five cow shelters of which only four are working, IANS report added. The one at Ghumanhera was shut in July last year after irregularities were found.“We will start a joint venture of cow shelter and old age home so that the old people can spend and interact with the animals just like in the village culture.”Gopal Rai, Delhi Minister of Development Delhi Govt Plans Monkey Birth Control ProgrammeIn another move, Rai announced that the state government plans a monkey birth control programme keeping in view the emerging problem of monkey menace in many parts of the city.The Delhi minister also stated that during the conference it was suggested that the Animal Husbandry unit of the Development Department should be renamed as Department of Animal Health and Welfare.“Policy will ensure the city is free from rabies and other such diseases,” he said.“Routine surveillance and risk assessment will be taken up on a regular basis to prevent diseases like rabies, brucellosis (an infection that spreads from animals to people, mostly by unpasteurised dairy products), japanese encephalitis and to reduces suffering and mortality.”Gopal Rai, Delhi Minister of Development According to IANS, awareness and people sensitization were also included in the policy with a plan for media campaign on various platforms to sensitize the public about animal welfare and awareness programmes in schools.The policy has proposed animal shelters and infirmaries for the abandoned or stray animals, which will provide a secure place for animals to spend their life with care and dignity.“Each district will have a minimum of 2 animal shelters and infirmaries,” Rai said.Gopal Rai, Delhi Minister of Development The conference also discussed plans to strengthen the health infrastructure for animals through 24x7 operational veterinary hospitals, polyclinics, aviaries and a helpline for distressed animal and birds, IANS reported.A veterinary hospital, proposed under the policy, will be inaugurated at Tis Hazari on 16 January. The policy suggests a minimum four government veterinary hospitals in each Assembly Constituency. It also plans to upgrade the existing veterinary hospitals.”Gopal Rai, Delhi Minister of Development The policy suggested tagging pets and cattle with electronic chips so that the owners could be identified, IANS added.(With inputs from IANS) We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated. The Quint is now available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, Click here to join.