Kasaragod dwarf or Kullan is one amongst the three prime dwarf cattle in India, the other two being Malnad Gidda and Vechur breed of cattle. Kasaragod dwarf is mostly found in Kasargod, the northern-most district of Kerala, flanked by a vast coastal area in the West, plains in the South and hilly tracts towards the North. The breed is also found in Mangalore, Coorg and some other parts of Karnataka. Some centuries ago, this breed of cattle was known as Sahya Pashu (Sahyadri Hill Cows) and was also found in Kannur and other parts of Kerala.
This breed is small-sized, friendly and understanding, and is well adapted to the hot and humid climate of Kerala. It possesses high heat tolerance and disease resistance, and can survive on kitchen scraps and jungle forage. This breed is also less susceptible to mastitis, a common udder infection.
Kasaragod Dwarf breed is in much demand due to the popularity of zero-budget farming. Those who know this breed are confident that conservation of these cattle could actually help the agrarian communities to deal with their problem of sustainable progress, and could also play a vital role in the growth and development of rural areas.
This breed has not been included in the list of India’s 41 native cattle breeds that have been documented by the National Bureau for Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR) Karnal, Haryana though moves have already begun to get this breed included in the list of native cattle breed of Kerala.
The Kasargod Dwarf Conservation Society was established in 2010 with objective of improving Kasargod dwarf breed. Currently more than 200 breeders and organic farmers are associated with this initiative.
Organic farmers in north Kerala are determined to conserve and popularise this dimunitive breed of cattle. A positive development is that Bela Cattle Farm in Badiadukka panchayat in Kerala is now being developed as a research centre under the Central Veterinary University to study, research and popularise this rare breed of Kasaragod Dwarf.