In a first, the high-altitude Himalayan yaks, feeling the climate change and facing natural disasters, will now be insured.
The National Research Center on Yak- NRCY at Dirang in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh has tied up with the National Insurance Company Ltd. for insuring their livestock.
NRCY director Dr. Mihir Sarkar informed that more than 500 yaks have died in a single spell of heavy rainfall in Northern Sikkim in 2019, which lead to a heavy financial burden on the yak farmers.
He termed the decision to be a landmark development in providing financial security to yak rearing communities in Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Ladakh.
As per a four-year-old report, the number of yaks across India has declined by almost 24.7% between 2012 and 2019.
Why yaks need to be insured?
The director of the National Research Center on Yak stated that the countrywide population trend shows that the yak population has been decreasing at an alarming rate.
Further, climate change and changes in weather patterns have also been reported from the areas of yak rearing throughout the country.
The latest insurance policy will shield the yak owners against the risks posed by diseases, weather calamities, surgical operations, in-transit mishaps, and strikes or riots.
Insurance policy for yaks: Key details
• As per the policy, the owners will have to ear-tagged their yaks. They will also have to provide a proper description in order to get their animals insured.
• For claims, the owner will have to submit the completed claim form, death certificate of the yak from the veterinary practitioner, the ear tag, and the post-mortem report.
• There also has to be a 15-day waiting period to claim the amount, that is, the death of an animal because of some disease within the 15 days from the commencement of the risk will not be payable.
Yaks in India:
The total yak population in the country is about 58,000. The Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have some 26000, followed by 5,000 in Sikkim, 24,000 in Arunachal Pradesh, 2,000 in Himachal Pradesh, and about 1,000 in Uttarakhand and West Bengal.
Yaks: Indicators of temperature change
Scientists at the National Research Center on Yak, established in 1989 by the Indian Council of Agriculture Research, stated that the wooly yaks were indicators of change in the temperature on mountains.
The wooly animal finds it difficult to tolerate conditions below 7,000 feet below sea level.
The rise in temperature on the mountains forces the yaks to go higher, which gives an indication of fluctuations in the weather.