Friday, February 22, 2008
It’s not just in the UK and US that we see suffering in the dairy industry as Peta India reveal in a recent investigation.

Peta India - Dairy Investigation
Undercover Investigation Reveals Horrors in India’s Dairy Industry

Other Viewing Options

‘Producing’ Cruelty
PETA India’s recent undercover investigation of several dairy farms revealed shocking cruelty to cows and buffaloes. Tabelas – animal factories with no provisions for health care or animal welfare – are steadily replacing small family farms.

Buffaloes in Delhi’s main dairy facility stand knee-deep in foul-smelling excrement, suffering from skin infections, foot disease and other illnesses. Garbage is piled up everywhere. Drainage, electricity and designated waste disposal sites are lacking.

In Mumbai, calves are tightly tethered on short ropes in order to prevent them from reaching their mothers, but in their struggle to get free, they often become entangled in the ropes and strangle themselves. One dairy owner reported that half the calves die shortly after birth.

An Endless Cycle of Abuse
Cows are beaten into submission and artificially inseminated so that they will keep producing milk. Although this practice should be performed by trained professionals, most cows are repeatedly inseminated by “barefoot healers” who ignore the most basic hygienic standards and use equipment that has not been sterilised, exposing cows to infections and diseases.

Most of a cow’s day is spent confined to a narrow, filthy stall. Cows are injected with Oxytocin, an illegal drug that causes them to produce unnaturally large quantities of milk and suffer severe stomach cramps as though they were in labour. Cows are impregnated repeatedly. They grieve for every calf they deliver who is ripped away a few days after birth. Cows often develop mastitis – an infection of the udders – from rough handling and rumen acidosis from unwholesome food.

Other abuses documented by PETA’s investigator include:

  • Calves were tethered with short chains, often without any shelter.
  • Workers kicked buffaloes to make them stand. Injured animals were hit with sticks and pulled by their tails.
  • Bleeding buffaloes were denied veterinary care.
  • Animals were covered in their own faeces.
  • Animals lived among heaps of garbage.
  • Drinking water was filthy.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Use of Oxytocin in North Panel raps ICAR for no researchVibha SharmaTribune News Service
New Delhi, December 9A parliamentary committee on agriculture has expressed 'concern' over why the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) - the national organisation that conducts and promotes research in agriculture and allied sciences - has not initiated any work on oxytocin despite "Being aware that repeated use of hormone can have ill-effects on the animal's health".
Rejecting the reply of the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE) on the practice of injecting the hormone for enhancing milk production, prevalent among almost all regions of the country, particularly Punjab, Haryana, UP, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the committee has asked it to initiate research on the issue.
In its report tabled in the Parliament recently, the committee also came down heavily on the study conducted by the NDRI, Karnal, of oxytocin on animal health, saying that it had been done for a limited period of just 10 days or so.
"Out of greed the owner of the animals uses the hormone injections on a regular basis. No research seems to have been conducted on prolonged use of oxytocin on animal health, lactation years and composition of milk," the committee said, asking for a detailed study to know effects of prolonged use of the injection.
The panel also expressed surprise regarding 'paradoxical contradiction' in the reply given by DARE on the issue.
"On one hand the ICAR is claiming to have found no side-effect on milk as well as animal health due to the use of oxytocin, on the other hand the Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, whose plans and actions were sought by DARE, has termed it a menace."
Actually the material used by livestock farmers for the purpose is a crude preparation of oxytocin, a peptide hormone that has the basic function of facilitating secretion of milk from the udder and expulsion of foetus or placenta during parturition.
Livestock farmers use the preparation of the hormone for salvaging complete milk retained in the udder. However, its repeated use can have ill-effect on the health of the animal.
The committee, under the chairmanship of Prof Ram Gopal Yadav, while presenting observations on the action taken by the government on its earlier recommendations on the issue, categorically stated that it was not satisfied with the reasoning given by the department for not initiating any work on the issue.
"It is a serious matter directly involving the animal's health. Field experience tells that it reduces animal's lactation years and also affects human health," the committee added.