Around 2.5 lakh cattle in Madhya Pradesh have been given unique identification numbers to ensure better safety and increased milk production, PTI reported on Sunday. The state plans to do this for its 90 lakh cattle under a centrally-funded scheme.

Tags with the numbers have been tied to the ears of the animals. Cows and buffaloes are being tagged as part of a national network called Information Network for Animal Productivity and Health, an official said.

“We have started tagging the bovines on a large scale this month,” said Animal Husbandry Department Joint Director Gulabsingh Davar. “In the first phase, 40 lakh tags have been distributed and the ears of 2.5 lakh cattle have been tagged.”

The cattle’s ID will be linked to the Aadhaar number of its owner, Davar said, adding: “A cattle dossier, comprising the animal’s age, breed and other characteristics, will be created which would be uploaded onto the application so that each cow or buffalo’s unique identity is available on gadgets.”

A report had said in February that the Indian government plans to spend Rs 50 crore to assign four crore milk-producing cows the unique identity number. The programme, called Pashu Sanjivni, was launched in 2016 under the National Mission on Bovine Productivity. It aims to help farmers improve their cattle’s milk productivity and make dairy farming more remunerative.

Under the programme, cattle will also be issued health cards and related data will be uploaded online.