Usage of banned Oxytocin drug rampant in dairying
Buffaloes subjected to cruelty in Krishna district
Indiscriminate usage of banned Oxytocin drug on cattle is still rampant in Krishna district, where animals are subjected to deliberate cruelty.
India banned the schedule H drug, Oxytocin, under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and section 12 of Food and Drug Adulteration Prevention Act, 1960.
Dairy farmers in Krishna district now have access to the drug, which is available in general stores in the villages, apart from medical shops without need of prescription from the veterinarians.
A Machilipatnam-based farmer, who stores a packet of one hundred vials of Oxytocin told The Hindu, “I inject the drug twice a day five minutes before milking for high pressure release of milk into the udder of the buffalo.”
He added that the packet was available at below Rs.100 in the market. Farmers everywhere in the district inject it on the cattle for a minimum of three-months on regular basis.
This low-priced method has become an alternative to the natural system, in which cattle release milk into the udder soon after its calf sucks the milk.
Sold to butchers
Above 93 per cent of total district’s milk production is buffalo milk. Most of the new born male buffalo calves are being sold to butchers.
In many cases, a calf is left to die of starvation as the farmer is no more relying on the calf for natural process of milking the buffalo.
“The drug will directly disturb the reproductive system of the cattle and reduces its life expectancy. The practice reflects the inhuman face of dairying,” said Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University’s Buffalo Research Station Senior Scientist K. Ananda Rao.
“Consumption of oxytocin-injected milk would certainly result in hormone imbalances in humans. The heath hazard is different from person to person,” said Andhra Medical College Visakhapatnam Principal Kalpana Subramanyam.
Around 35 butchers in the district headquarters daily bought at least two buffalos from the farmers, who make money out of the survived male calves.