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Manipur govt allots 30-acre grassland to conserve endangered ‘Polo Ponies’

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Imphal, May 15: To protect Manipur’s endangered ‘Polo Ponies,’ the state government has taken measures, including the allotment of grassland.

The Manipur government has now allotted 30 acres of grassland to conserve the endangered species at Lamphelpat in Imphal West district.

‘Polo Ponies’ are a diminutive yet robust breed that holds special significance as the backbone of the sport of Polo, originating right here in the northeastern state.

Taking to X(formerly twitter), Manipur CM N.Biren Singh said, “To protect the endangered Manipuri Pony, they are now being given a new home at the government allotted 30 acres of grassy fields at Lamphelpat, Imphal West, where they can freely roam and graze,”.

“I also appreciate the Manipur Horse Riding and Polo Association for its initiative to save the precious yet endangered Manipuri Pony,” Singh said.

The Manipur government declared ponies as an endangered species in 2013 and since then, the numbers have plummeted from around 1,218 in 2007 to the current 1089, as per the Livestock Census conducted last year.

There are around 26 polo clubs in Manipur. One of them, the Manipur Horse Riding and Polo Association, which was established in 2005 with 34 ponies, also functions as a stud farm for ponies.

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Manipur government introduced the Manipur Pony Conservation and Development Policy in 2016, offering incentives to polo clubs.

According to last year’s Livestock Census data, Imphal West district has the highest number of ponies at 619, followed by Imphal East (266), Bishnupur (97), Tamenglong (75), and other districts.

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