Animal welfare panel concerned over mega dairy project

August 12th, 2011 - 1:53 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 12 (IANS) The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has expressed concerns over the proposed IFFCO Kisan SEZ (IKSEZ) mega dairy project to come up in Andhra Pradesh.

The board has written to the promoters of the mega dairy, planned to come up in the state’s Nellore district, raising questions about the risk to the animals and environment.

“The establishment of mega dairies, as such dairy systems are prone to several environmental and animal welfare risks. Detail of the project has been sought to help AWBI assess the animal welfare implication of the mega dairy,” said an AWBI official.

The official said that a New Zealand-based dairy company Fonterra and an Indian company called Global Dairy Health are developing a mega dairy as part of IFFCO’s SEZ (Special Economic Zone).

“Reports suggest that the consortium will import 9,000 high yielding pregnant cows from New Zealand over a three-year period. There are also plans to import frozen embryos and semen for subsequent breeding,” he added.

Expressing concern over the animals’ health, the official said, “In such mega dairies, cows are mostly kept indoors with little access to natural surroundings. Cows farmed intensively like this are bred to produce unnaturally large amounts of milk which can make them more susceptible to health problems.”

The AWBI intervened in the matter after a request from the Federation of Indian Animals Protection Organisations (FIAPO).

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