Dozens of police officers in Aligarh have offered to “adopt” cattle after facing protests against the menace of stray animals, reported The Times of India. Forty-one personnel will keep one animal each – mainly unproductive cows and calves – at their homes from January 1. District Magistrate CB Singh has also planned to urge around 15,000 administrative staff to follow suit to “contribute to a social cause”.

“Every adverse law and order situation is to be faced by us, so we should be the ones taking the initiative in resolving the problems that ail the society,” Senior Superintendent of Police AK Sahni told The Times of India. Sahni will keep the cattle “forever”, while the other 40 officials will participate in the initiative till all government cow shelters become operational, he said.

The police personnel made the decision days after farmers locked up cattle on the premises of a government school and a primary healthcare centre, claiming that they damaged their crops.

The proposal came up during a meeting of district police officials called by Sahni. The 40 officials apart from Sahni who volunteered comprised four additional superintendents, nine circle officers and 27 officials in charge of police stations. Superintendent of Police (City) Ashutosh Dwivedi said he had no space to keep an animal at his house, so he will bear the expenses of its upkeep instead.

Dwivedi said the initiative would motivate people not to abandon their unproductive animals, which end up destroying crops and are a nuisance in the streets.