Rajasthan dairy farmers injecting cattle with banned drug
The Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations alleged that cows in Rajasthan were being injected with oxytocin – a banned drug – to increase milk production. Apart from this, they were also being reared in extremely bad conditionsjaipur Updated: Jun 27, 2016 23:28 IST
Here’s a thought to set your heart racing the next time you decide to raise a glass of milk to your lips – it may have come from an ailing cow injected with a highly toxic drug.
The Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) alleged on Monday that cows in Rajasthan were being injected with oxytocin – a banned drug – to increase milk production. Apart from this, they were also being reared in extremely bad conditions, it added.
This statement followed an investigative report prepared by the FIAPO on the basis of sting operations carried out on 49 dairy farms across four cities – Alwar, Bikaner, Jaipur and Jodhpur – where cattle was found to be kept in torturous conditions. “Oxytocin is administered to cows and buffaloes several times a day to increase milk production. Despite the fact that this schedule H drug is banned under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and Section 12 of the Drug Adulteration Prevention Act, oxytocin is freely available at most medical stores. When a cow is injected with oxytocin, it experiences contractions similar to what it gets at the time of giving birth. While the drug can increase milk production, it is extremely injurious to the health of these animals as well as consumers,” said Abhishek Singh, coordinator of FIAPO’s Jaipur chapter.
The FIAPO said dairy farmers not only keep cattle in inhuman conditions but also send the male calves of buffaloes to slaughterhouses because they are of “no use”. “We need to learn from the West when it comes to cattle rearing. The use of oxytocin must be stopped immediately through strict government action. The administration should do a thorough study of the areas that are not covered under the current laws, and ensure their strict implementation. We have written to the ministry of agriculture in this regard, and are hoping that they take steps to resolve this problem at the earliest,” said DR Mehta, Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti founder and FIAPO trustee.
The investigative report, titled ‘State of Dairy Cattle - Rajasthan’, has revealed that only 57% of cattle owners call for veterinary assistance – and even when they do, it’s more for addressing a fall in milk production than resolving health concerns such as ailments, fractures or infections. A staggering 87% of the cattle are kept tied up in unhealthy and unhygienic surroundings, covered in their own excreta and suffering from injuries and fractures.
FIAPO member Rucha Mehta said cows and female buffalos are often forced to get pregnant just three months after giving birth. “The state of animals at the Hingonia Gaushala of the Jaipur Municipal Corporation is also very bad. On an average, more than 20 cows die there every day,” said Mehta.
The report was prepared on the basis of a survey conducted over the last one and a half months. “The only time these animals get to bask in the sunlight is when they are being taken to the slaughterhouse. We urge the government to take action on this,” said FIAPO ambassador Timmie Kumar.