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 !!!