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Thousands of cows have been freed to roam about by the charitable trusts that run cattle shelters in the western Indian state of Gujarat. This is in protest to the lack of aid the government promised them.

Videos of cows walking through government buildings have gone viral.
Protesters have threatened to boycott the upcoming state election if the government fails to release funds.

Gujarat is among several Indian states reeling from a lumpy skin disease outbreak, leading to cattle losses. The state has reported more than 5,800 cattle deaths, while nearly 170,000 are estimated to have been affected by the disease.

Cows are sacred animals for India’s majority Hindu community, and slaughtering them is illegal in 18 states, including Gujarat.