Six dairy farmers in Pune arrested for injecting buffaloes with oxytocin

Published on Nov 16, 2022 12:39 AM IST

Six dairy farmers in Pune were arrested for allegedly using banned oxytocin injections to increase the milk-producing capacity of their buffaloes, the police said

Six dairy farmers in Pune were arrested for allegedly using banned oxytocin injections to increase the milk-producing capacity of their buffaloes, the police said. ((PIC FOR REPRESENTATION))
Six dairy farmers in Pune were arrested for allegedly using banned oxytocin injections to increase the milk-producing capacity of their buffaloes, the police said. ((PIC FOR REPRESENTATION))

Six dairy farmers in Pune and the neighbouring areas were arrested for allegedly using banned oxytocin injections to increase the milk-producing capacity of their buffaloes, the police said on Tuesday. Oxytocin, a schedule H drug, has been banned from retail sales by the union government since 2018.

The accused have been identified as Vitthal Bhivaji Zinzurne, 48, from Pimple Saudagar; Sagar Kailas Saste, 35, from Alandi road Moshi; Vilas Mahadev Murkute, 57, from Marunji; Sunil Khandappa Malkunaik, 51, from Tingrenagar; Ganesh Shankar Pailwan, 50, from Gultekdi; and Mahadu Namdev Parande, 51, from Alandi road. Of the six, Malkunaik has a big dairy farm with more than 50 buffaloes, the police said.

Five days after the arrest of the main accused in the case, Babubhai alias Aladin Laskar of Kalyan, the crime branch unit 1 team arrested the six dairy farmers for using oxytocin injections to increase the milk production of their buffaloes. According to unit 1 police officials, it was during the interrogation of another accused in the case, Samir Anwar Kureshi, who runs an oxytocin bottling plant in the Vimantal area, that they came to know that he had sold oxytocin to many dairy farmers and that these farmers were using it on a daily basis. Acting on this information, the police teams identified these dairy farmers and after confirmation, nabbed them. The police said that they have identified more such farmers and will soon take action against them.

“More arrests are likely to take place in this case,” said senior police inspector Vinayak Gaikwad. Gaikwad further said that the arrested accused were injecting their buffaloes with oxytocin on a daily basis. Police officials said that such drugs not only affected animals but also impacted human beings, who consumed the milk of these animals.

Dinesh Khivasara, assistant commissioner, FDA Pune, said that dairy owners inject cattle with oxytocin to get excess milk instantly. Instead of providing cattle with quality feed, the animals are injected with oxytocin for the quick release of milk from their udder which is an illegal practice. Furthermore, the hormone is harmful to human beings as well. According to the Animal Welfare Board, a substantial part of the oxytocin injected into cattle could be seeping into their milk, with children being most susceptible to its effects. Oxytocin is known to impair both hearing and eyesight, and results in exhaustion and loss of energy.

A case under sections 328 (causing hurt by means of poison), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 175 (omission to produce document to public servant), 272 (adulteration of food or drink intended for sale) and 274 (adulteration of drugs) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered at the Vimantal police station. The police have invoked the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act in this case.

Earlier on November 5, the Pune police crime branch unit had arrested five persons for running an illegal Oxytocin bottling plant in the Lohegaon area of Pune city.

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