The drastically reducing numbers of the critically endangered Manipur pony has been a matter of concern for the government that has cleared the draft of a policy for Manipur Pony Conservation and Development.
According to the Livestock Census of 2003, there were 1,898 Manipur ponies in the state but as of 2012, the total number had declined to 1,101.
The Manipur Pony is an indigenous breed of horses bred possibly from either the Tibetan pony or as a cross between the Mongolian wild horse and the Arabian one.
Rural Development & Public Relations Minister Moirangthem Okendro said, “The government decided to take up all possible measures without any further delay after taking serious note of the fast depleting Manipur Pony population”.
The proposed structure for the implementing body for pony conservation would be done with the Department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry.
The Chief Minister will also be a chairman for the Manipuri Pony Development Board. Members from various organisations working towards conservation of the pony would be inducted as board members.
The best place to watch the Manipur Pony is at the Polo event organised every year by the Manipur Horse Riding and Polo Association (MHRPA).
Image courtesy: Hijam Devendra Singh