The cow is revered as a sacred animal in most parts of my country by Hindus. Some states have banned cow slaughter. As a result you can find stray cows in public places in these states.
Many urban stray cows feed on garbage and can be even seen to tear off and chew wall posters that are usually pasted on to the wall using a wheat paste spiked with toxic copper sulphate. A vet in Uttar Pradesh told me that they have many cases where the cows eat plastic packaging material and they had to remove huge quantities of polythene and plastic material surgically from the digestive systems of the cows.
There is an underground market for cow and buffalo meat for those who eat it and in these states the market not regulated because slaughter is illegal. This results in unhygienic slaughter, storage and selling practices. When I was travelling through Banda district of UP, I heard stories of how there is a huge competition for scarce biomass between humans and their productive animals and the unproductive stray cows and bulls. There was the news report that reported how villagers tie their unwanted animals to the railway tracks so that a passing train could kill them.
In my state Tamil Nadu, the bulls and cows are transported across the border to Kerala where there is a demand for meat. The conditions with which these animals transported are known to be cruel. A snotty nose-in-the-air elitist minister once described economy class air travel as “Cattle Class”. Here is the true Cattle Class transport.