Farmers in India have traditionally raised cattle in their backyards as sustainable livelihood supplements. However, this is changing with the western concept of factory farms.
The fertilizer company IFFCO plans to construct a mega dairy/ factory farm with a starting herd of 9000 imported pregnant cows. It is planned to increase this herd to 40,000 cows at a later date. The imported animals will be supplied by the New Zealand dairy giant – Fonterra. Global Dairy Health is also partnering in this venture.
It is scientifically proven that profit driven animal husbandry practices in mega dairy operations such as modified feed, day old weaning, challenge feeding, frequent re grouping etc put additional burden on animals, inviting physical and psychological problems such as tongue rolling, bar biting, lameness and mastitis. Hence, mega dairies cannot be run without compromising on animal welfare.
Here, we are talking about 40,000 cows !
If such a mega dairy is allowed to be set up, it will certainly spell the doom of the symbiotic relationship between the Indian farmer and his / her animals.
Besides being harmful for animals, mega dairies are bad for environment. They require huge amounts of water and produce unmanageable quantities of waste.
Mega dairies are harmful for environment AND detrimental to animal welfare.
Mega dairy equals high throughput, increased population of stray animals, increased animal suffering and ultimately an incerase in the number of animals that go for slaughter !!!
Stop India's first mega dairy in Andhra Pradesh
I am writing to protest against the mega dairy farm proposed at IFFCO Kisan SEZ in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh. There are numerous animal welfare and environmental implications of intensive dairies. I am deeply concerned that animals will greatly suffer in intensive confinement as we know from the existing factory farms of this nature present in many other countries. There is enough evidence to demonstrate that:
• Animals kept in intensive confinement are highly stressed and are unable to express very necessary natural behaviour such as grazing, grouping, exercising, and forming bonds among themselves.
• Intensively confined animals in factory farms are more vulnerable to painful conditions like lameness as well as diseases like mastitis.
• There is increased abuse of animals while handling large numbers at one place.
• Calves require special care and bonding with the mother for their healthy growth and development. In intensive dairies, calves are prematurely removed from mother. This practise is cruel and undesirable.
• Dairy industry is known to be barbaric to male calves. Large number of animals means more number of male calves and therefore increased animal suffering.
• Transport and slaughter conditions are matter of grave concern. A large number of spent cattle are likely to meet a brutal fate.
Therefore, I sincerely urge IFFCO to not promote a dairy that will bring untold misery to and abuse of cows – animals that are culturally revered in our country.