The Government of Manipur along with various organisations and associations decided to save the Meitei Sagol (Manipuri Pony) from extinction.

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  • Recently, A joint meeting of the Manipur Horse Riding and Polo Association, Manipur Equestrian Association, Manipuri Pony Society, and officials of the state veterinary and animal husbandry department was held in Imphal to save Meitei Sagol or Manipuri Pony.
  • Manipuri Pony is an equine (member of the horse family) breed, indigenous to the Indian state of Manipur.
  • The decisions of the joint meeting include the following points:
  • Demarcation of an area to temporarily accommodate the animals 
  • Constitution of a task force
  • Preparation of a budget for pony management 
  • Surveying grazing grounds and permanent habitats of ponies
  • Finalisation of stud books for pony registration
  • Formalisation of census of ponies.
  • The Manipuri Pony Conservation and Development Policy (MPCDP) was framed to conserve the Manipuri Pony in 2016.

About Meitei Sagol (Manipuri Pony)

  • It is one of the seven recognized horse and pony breeds of India under the ICAR-National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources.
  • It is known for its unique stamina, agility, intelligence, speed, maneuverability, and great adaptability to harsh geoclimatic conditions.
  • It is regarded as the original polo pony as modern polo is derived from the traditional Sagol Kangjei (literally translated into English as hockey on horseback) sport of Manipur. 
  • The state government of Manipur has declared Sagol Kangjei as a state game.
  • In Manipur, ponies are used in traditional events like Lai haraoba, polo, race, etc. 
  • Other recognised horse and pony breeds of India are Bhutia (Sikkim and Arunachal), Kathiawari (Gujarat), Marwari (Rajasthan), Spiti (Himachal Pradesh), Zanskari (Jammu and Kashmir) Kachchhi-Sindhi (Gujarat and Rajasthan).
  • Its population has been decreasing rapidly – from 1,898 animals in the 17th Livestock Census (2003) to 1089 in 2019.
  • Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) publication on the World Watch List on Domestic Animal Diversity has listed the breed as” An Endangered Animal”
  • The Manipur government also declared the Manipuri Pony as an Endangered Breed in 2013.

ICAR- National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources

  • The establishment of ICAR- National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources/Institute of Animal Genetics was set up on 21st September, 1984 at the campus at National Dairy Research Institute (Southern Regional Station), Bangalore.
  • The Institute was shifted to Karnal in 1985 and temporarily located in the campus of National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal.
  • The ICAR- National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources and National Institute of Animal Genetics were merged in 1995 to function as a single unit in the form of ICAR- National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources. 

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