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* Sri Lanka's water buffaloes facing extinction due to slaughter
Mon, Apr 14, 2014, 09:40 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 14, Colombo: Sri Lanka's water buffaloes, the ancient symbol of agriculture are facing extinction due to slaughter and lack of pastures, according to agricultural organizations.

Buffaloes in Kurunegala and Puttalam Districts of the North Western Province face extinction due to slaughtering and lack of land for them to graze, the President of Kurunegala District Small Farmers' organization J.M. Jayabahu has said.

According to the official, machinery has taken the place of buffaloes in paddy fields and only few people are raising the buffaloes for producing curd.

Furthermore, the illegal slaughter of the animals has drastically reduced their numbers. Nearly 4,200 buffaloes are slaughtered annually in the Province, the official said.

The Police Department in Kurunegala has reportedly seized 12 lorries illegally transporting cattle and buffaloes to distant places in the country for slaughtering within the last three months, Sunday Observer reported.

The official urged the Ministries of Agriculture, Livestock Development, and all Provincial Councils to take early steps to conserve the buffaloes before extinction becomes unavoidable if their existing plight continued.

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