Reality Check

The dairy industry has flourished since the white revolution and along with this India has become the leading beef exporter, with the “refuse” of the dairy industry being slaughtered and exported.
To add insult to injury, the dairy industry paints the picture of a cow as a commodity, solely to be exploited for commercial gains, rather than the gentle, thinking, feeling being that it is.
Don’t believe us? Here are some shocking facts of Indian dairies from our national investigation.

Resources

Cattle-ogue
State of Dairy Cattle in India
Hingonia Gaushala



Separation of Mother and Calf
To maximize profits from milk, which the cow or buffalo produces after giving birth, the young ones are separated from the mother almost immediately after birth. The calf, if female, is tied at distance to the mother so that suckling is not possible. In the process, not only is the baby denied nourishment from the mothers’ milk, he/she is also denied love and affection.



Management of Male Calves

Most male calves born in dairies have no future, other than that of certain death. Since males cannot produce milk, they are usually abandoned so that the murder is not on the hands of the dairy farmer and also due to legal implications of slaughtering of cows. Male calves left starving on the roads is a common sight near any dairy establishment. In some villages, the head of the dead calves is stuffed and kept close to the mother, so that she keeps lactating after smelling her baby.



Use of Oxytocin

One of the most common drugs administered to dairy animals, oxytocin is a prescription drug used at the time of human child birth. However, in the dairy industry, oxytocin is injected to buffaloes to induce milk letdown. The most common misconception is that this drug increases milk production. In fact, it only increases pus cells in the milk and at the same time causes labor like pains to the animal. It is produced locally and illegally.



Tethering of Animals

To increase profits and decrease operating costs, most dairy owners do not allow free roaming space to the animals. They are kept tethered at all times, and are even forced to sleep in their own feces and urine. The effect of tethering causes immense psychological discomfort and often animals can be seen moving their head around in circles or hitting their head against a surface due to mental imbalance. Cows and buffaloes, in a natural environment, are grazers and develop lameness due to lack of exercise.



No Veterinary Care

Due to being cramped in closed spaces, constantly being beaten, malnourishment and torture many animals, like humans, contract illness. Wounds of legs, knees, udders are common amongst animals being kept as milk machines. Many are even de-horned without medical know-how and end up having severe infections. Over and above, veterinary care is not provided until the animal stops producing milk.



Flooring and Bedding

Most dairies have concrete flooring which results in animals slipping on their own feces and developing fractures and wounds. Dairy animals have a strong behavioral need to rest and are denied comfortable resting space. There is no bedding area provided, so animals stand, sleep, eat, defecate in the same place. In fact, their milking is also done in the same area, which causes infection.

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