The state government will pay a sum of Rs 30 per day to the person who adopts a cow for maintenance. People living in semi-urban and rural areas can adopt up to four stray cows, bulls and calves.
The scheme called the 'Nirashrit/Besahara Govansh Sahbhagita Yojana' was introduced on August 8 for management of stray cattle, but the execution order was issued on September 9.
The response has been overwhelming with the Lucknow administration having received 1,500 applications by Wednesday evening.
Chief veterinary officer Tej Singh Yadav said, "We have received 1,500 adoption applications, mostly from farmers and landless daily wage earners. The scheme will add to their income and will help control stray cattle, responsible for damaging crops in villages and causing accidents in city."
Of the 24,940 animals caught so far in Lucknow district, 9,079 have been ear-tagged and are available for adoption.
Over 4,400 are available with Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC), followed by 895 in Mohanlalganj, 833 in Maal and 789 in Malihabad blocks in the state.
According to LMC director (animal welfare) Arvind Rao, "The process of verification is underway and we will hand over the animals to deserving applicants in 15 days."
The state veterinary department will also conduct regular inspection of foster homes. "If an animal is sick, the owner will have to inform the department, which will arrange for free treatment. However, in case of death, a postmortem will be done to ascertain the cause and action will be taken if there is a foul play," he explained.
Officials denied that Rs 30 per day was insufficient to feed a cow and said that non-crop fields on the outskirts of the city would allow foster homes to easily feed the adopted animal. The money can be saved. It will be an additional source of income for the poor families, they said.
The animals are being ear-tagged for easy identification if abandoned after adoption.
( With inputs from IANS )