Business Standard

Thousands of cows' lives will be transformed as dairies commit to higher welfare


An estimated 125,400 dairy cows will live better lives, following World Animal Protection's call on Arvind Dairy and Happy Milk to move to higher welfare farming.
Arvind Dairy, has a significant presence and a growing market share in North India, sourcing its milk from over 25,000 rural farmers in Uttar Pradesh's Aligarh region. 'Happy Milk' runs its own organic farm in Tumkur, near Bengaluru, which is currently home to over 400 cows and has partnered with a German tech partner, GEA, as well as with Israeli consultants so as to enhance the quality of their milk and the health of their cows.
The companies have committed to:
* Not sourcing from urban and peri-urban dairies
* Implementing basic minimum welfare i.e. the five freedoms in their supply chain by 2025, as well as adopting an animal welfare policy
* Providing information on this collaboration on their website and Annual Reports charting their progress in implementing these commitments.
India is home to over 299 million cattle, the largest population of cows in the world. Millions suffer the worst cruelty, living in appalling urban and peri-urban dairies, located in cities and suburbs.
World Animal Protection has disturbing evidence of this systemic cruelty. Dairy animals are tied up to short ropes round the clock, unable to turn around or move, living in overcrowded, barren conditions. They are forced to lie on hard floors in their own urine and faeces, with a lack of clean water, air and shelter. This causes them stress, sores and infections, with little access to veterinary care.
This also leads to routine overuse of antibiotics, a common measure to prop up animals with weaker immune systems sometimes caused by poor welfare. All this causes immense pain and daily suffering to urban and peri-urban dairy animals.
Cattle are also abandoned on the streets, foraging in garbage and in the middle of bustling roads, eating unsuitable food and drinking foul water.
"These urban and peri-urban dairies are openly flouting rules. Some are even operating without proper registration, which should not be allowed. Dairy cattle provide us with the valuable resource of milk, they deserve a better life. The public are also appalled; almost 90 per cent of people surveyed across six cities strongly agree that peri-urban dairies should be closed", said Gajender K Sharma, India Country Director at World Animal Protection.
World Animal Protection has been reaching out to dairy companies to help improve the lives of the largest numbers of animals.
"We at Arvind Dairy are committed to the care and welfare of dairy animals. We are passionate about what we do and would like to care not only for the dairy farmers but also the animals. Our ultimate aim is to produce good quality, healthy and wholesome products", explained Lalit Mohan Gupta, M.D. Marketing at Arvind Dairy Pvt. Ltd.
"Happy Milk has & will always strive to take raise the bar of our cows health to the highest possible," stressed Mehal Kejriwal.
"We, at Happy Milk, are thrilled to be part of this animal welfare team, who shares the same ideas, values and love to these animals. We'd like to set an example of how a dairy farm can work towards animal welfare and at the same time grow as a business", she added.
World Animal Protection welcomes this commitment by Arvind Dairy and Happy Milk and urges other dairy companies and retailers to rise to the challenge.
World Animal Protection urges the public and Government of India to end the needless suffering of dairy animals. This can only be accomplished by phasing out peri-urban and urban dairies and implementing minimum welfare standards that protect all dairy animals across India.
World Animal Protection's digital campaign "Where does your milk come from?" aims to create greater awareness about this issue.
This story is provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article.

Disclaimer: No Business Standard Journalist was involved in creation of this content

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First Published: May 29 2019 | 6:35 PM IST

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