Muthupettai: Faced with a claim of ownership of a calf by two farmers here, police have come up with a unusual suggestion of a DNA test of the cows and the offspring to resolve the dispute.
Rajarathimam and Mathiazhagan, who are also relatives and residents of this town in Tiruvarur district, staked claim to the three-and-half year old calf, police said.
Rajarathinam in a complaint with police claimed that the calf was given birth by his cow and had been missing before he found it in the farmstead of Mathiazhagan.
However, the latter rejected the claim and said the he had been rearing both the mother cow and the calf.
First, police employed a simple natural test of mother-calf bondage hoping that the younger one would rush to its mother by instinct.
As the calf ran towards the cow brought by Mathiazhagan, police concluded it was the calf's mother. However, the other man did not budge and continued to assert his claim.
Caught at the wits end, Police then suggested a DNA test to conclude which cow gave birth to the calf. They asked both the parties to resolve the issue scientifically.
"For now, Mathiazhagan has taken both the cow and its calf.
We suggested DNA test to find an amicable solution. It is upto the parties to decide," Special Police Sub Inspector V Ramajunam told PTI.
Though DNA test has been the norm in deciding parentage disputes in humans, this is a perhaps one of the rare cases where it has been mooted for resoloving a dispute involving animals.
A top official of a Veterinary institute said though the technology is available for a DNA test of animals, it was a costly affair and involved technicalities.
"The technology to do such a test is available... it is a costly affair involving several technicalities. The test is not very easy," Vice-Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University Dr S Thilagar told PTI when contacted....