A government panel in Madhya Pradesh has proposed a slew of measures to conserve cows, including penalising owners who abandon cattle and setting up more cow sanctuaries, The Indian Express reported on Sunday.

The panel, set up recently to suggest measures to protect cows, has bureaucrats from various government departments. It has also suggested that the state’s cow slaughter prohibition law be renamed to include conservation in it.

“The penalty will be slapped even if a cow is killed in road accidents, because it’s proof that the owner has abandoned it,’’ committee member Swami Akhileshwaranand, who is also the chairperson of the executive council of the Madhya Pradesh Cow Protection Board, said.

District collectors were using drones to find out areas affected by stray cows, Akhileshwaranand said. He said owners of gaushalas “who lie about the number of cows they shelter” should also be penalised.

The committee also suggested sterilisation of bulls of nondescript breeds and building structures where cows can take rest, cow sanctuaries and forest areas for cows.

Madhya Pradesh has lately been struggling with stray cattle. In September, the state inaugurated the country’s first cow sanctuary in Agar Malwa district.