The Rajasthan high court on Wednesday asked the government to declare cow as the national animal and ensure life sentence for those who kill the bovine.
A bench of justice Mahesh Chand Sharma passed the directive on a public interest litigation over death of more than 500 cows at a government-run shelter at Hingonia, near Jaipur.
The court directive comes amidst a nation debate on cow slaughter and beef consumption following a Central government directive banning sale of cattle for slaughter at animal markets.
The court also directed the state forest department to plant 5,000 plants in and around the cowshed every year.
The judge will retire from service later in the day.
BJP-ruled Rajasthan has stringent laws against slaughter of cow, considered holy by a section of Hindus.
The largescale cow deaths at the Hingonia cow rehabilitation centre, just 36 kms from the capital, had embarrassed the government.
A probe revealed dereliction of duty by government officials at the shelter where the bovines starved to death after they were caught neck-deep in cow dung and fodder that had turned slushy due to rainwater seepage.