Thimphu Thromde : Unclaimed cattle or horses to be handed over to Semchen Tshethar Tshogpa

Khandu from Paro loses 6 horses after Thromde gives it to STT

According to Thimphu Thromde, stray cattle and horses are seen on the roads because the owners are not taking care of them.

Thromde also notified the public to take care of their cattle and horses and not to let them roam freely on the roads, as they are damaging the flowers and trees planted for the beautification of the town, and also causing trouble to the vehicles passing along the roads.

As per Sanitary Inspector of City Environment Division under Thimphu Thromde, Tsheten Wangchuk, the horses, in particular, travel from Punakha and Paro as well as Naro and Soe to the city. Thromde catches them and keeps them in an animal pound for a week. There are two animal pounds, one in the south and one in the north.

“We feed and care for them, and when the owners come, they must pay a fee of Nu 1,500 per day per animal for merely taking care of the animal, and then we hand over the animal to them. The cost goes to cattle catchers, transportation, food, and care,” he said.

If the owner does not appear after a week, Thimphu Thromde then hands over the impounded animals to the Semchen Tshethar Tshogpa (STT).

“We have an agreement signed with STT. They also have people that want the animals and give them out for free. STT will inform us where to drop off the animals, who the counter party is, and how to contact them. We load the animals in a DCM and must transport and hand over the animals. Then, make sure the animals are dropped where they should be,” he said.

The official said that once the Thromde has handed over the cattle or horses to STT, then the owner have to deal with STT.

“We will be out of the picture after handing over because as per the agreement, we will not entertain any claims after handing over. We validated the STT and found them to be highly genuine,” he said.

He said that the Thromde doesn’t make revenue from it. “Around Nu 30,000 to Nu 40,000 each month are spent on purchasing feeds. We can recover the money if the owner appears, however most of the time the owner does not show up,” he said.

Khandu’s 6 horses

Meanwhile, Khandu from Paro lost his six horses around July 2021 and he claimed that the horses were hand over to Semchen Tshethar Tshogpa by the Thimphu Thromde.

He said that the region where he lives is hilly and so horses are the main mode of transportation, and during the tourism season, they provide porter pony services to visitors. So, while trekking on the Druk Path, they drop the horses in Motithang, Thimphu.

“The horses must have gone directly to Thimphu around July 2021. And there were several lockdowns in 2021, which resulted in gap for searching the horses that I’ve been looking in Paro.

“My cousin brother in Thimphu witnessed the horses and cattle being transported to Olakha in the end of July. He had no idea the horses were mine at the time. Somehow, I was informed that my horses were taken too.  The horses were kept there for nearly five days before they were handed over to STT and they took the horses from there to Punakha, where they must have already decided who would be given the horses, and not only my horses, but other people’s animals, were given to the people in the villages,” he said.

He added that he tried searching in Paro and even came to Thimphu, but he couldn’t find the horses.

“I couldn’t find the horses since they were taken a long time ago, so I gave up searching. When I rang Thromde and inquired for the horses, STT said that a strong agreement was made between Thimphu Thromde and STT while the horses were handed over to them,” he said.

He said that he contacted Dopshari Gup, asking for assistance and requesting that a letter be sent to the Thimphu Thromde.

“It’s not about a single horse, but about six horses. In response to the letter, Thimphu Thrompon sent a letter to the STT stating that to take necessary action. The copy of letter was sent to the Shari Gup, however, when my brother followed up with the Thrompon, he said he cannot do anything and to deal with them personally” he said.

He said, “Yes, I agree that a year has elapsed since the horses went missing, and I attempted looking throughout that time but was unsuccessful. I asked for the name and phone number of the persons to whom the horses were given, as well as permission to speak with them bilaterally. Also, if they want a one-year incentive, I’m willing to offer it to them as long as they give the horses back, however, STT said they cannot give the person’s number and is against the terms of the agreement.”

He added that as a farmer they cannot look after the animals for 24 hours.

“Yes, Thromde can catch the animals and keep it in the complex until the owner arrives, at which point they can pay the penalties and release the horses. And I don’t believe Thromde has the power to hand over the animals to a third party and sign the agreement without the presence of the owner,” he added.

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