Guwahati: The Animal Welfare Board of India, which falls under the Union Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, has suggested February 14 should be celebrated as ‘Cow Hug Day’ to celebrate the animal’s importance to Indian culture and the rural economy.

The Board issued an appeal on February 6, stating that “west culture” is leading to the near extinction of “Vedic traditions” and that “hugging with cow will bring emotional richness hence will increase our individual & collective happiness”.

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The day has been proposed in contrast to Valentine’s Day, which is observed in some parts of the world, and which has been met with criticism from certain outfits who say it goes against “Indian culture”.

Interestingly, cow hugging has been a trend in some Western countries for a while now.

It may be mentioned in some countries like the Netherlands, “koe knuffelen” (Dutch for cow hugging) is seen as a self-care practice and is offered as a service by farm owners.

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Some reports state that cow cuddlers typically start by taking a tour of a farm before resting against one of the cows for two to three hours.

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