Lifestyle & Belief

Stray cattle in India get glow-in-the dark horns to prevent crashes with vehicles

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Traffic moves slowly as a group of stray bulls walk on a road in New Delhi on May 5, 2005.

Credit:

Kamal Kishore/Reuters

Police in central India are sticking glow-in-the-dark strips on the horns of stray cattle to prevent motorists from crashing into the animals as they wander across roads at night, an officer said Tuesday.

Following a spate of road accidents, traffic police in one district of Madhya Pradesh state have stuck orange radium reflective bands on the horns of 300 cows and bulls to help drivers spot them.

Stray cattle are a major traffic menace in India, with hundreds roaming freely on roads across the country.

"Many drivers injured themselves or killed the cattle after running over them at night," Kailash Chauhan, traffic police inspector for Balaghat district told AFP.

"There was an urgent need to prevent such accidents," he said.

Because of the success of the scheme, officers say they now plan to buy permanent radium paint to cover cows' horns, as the plastic bands only last for a few weeks.

Authorities have also asked farmers to fix glow-in-the-dark bands on their own cattle to help them be seen more easily.

In 2015 more than 550 people were killed in India in accidents involving stray animals, according to government figures.

A World Health Organization report in 2013 said more than 231,000 people die on India's deadly roads each year.

Cows forage amongst rubbish on a roadside in Agra, India on August 8, 2016. 

Credit:

Cathal McNaughton/Reuters