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Company : Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations (FIAPO) 
Thursday, August 11, 2011 12:30PM IST (7:00AM GMT)
 
Animal Welfare Board of India Expresses Concerns over the Proposed IFFCO KISAN SEZ
Statutory body asks IFFCO KISAN SEZ to submit details of the project
 
New Delhi, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, India

The Chairman of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) in a letter has expressed animal welfare concerns over the proposed IFFCO KISAN SEZ. This letter comes in response to the petition by FIAPO seeking intervention of the AWBI.

In a letter addressed to the promoters of a mega dairy planned for the IFFCO Kisan SEZ (IKSEZ) in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh, AWBI has raised questions about the establishment of mega dairies, as such dairy systems are prone to several environmental and animal welfare risks and has sought the details of the project to help AWBI assess the animal welfare implication of the mega dairy.

According to reports, a consortium of IFFCO, the 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. Reports suggest that the consortium will import 9,000 high yielding pregnant cows from New Zealand over a 3 year period. There are also plans to import frozen embryos and semen for subsequent breeding.

In such 'mega dairies', the cows are typically kept almost exclusively indoors with little or no 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 such as lameness, mastitis, poor body condition and infertility. To maintain these excessive yields of milk without damage to their health they have to be fed an unnaturally concentrated diet which leaves them little time for grazing.

"Since consumers in developed countries are demanding an end to such inhumane confinement systems, foreign animal production companies are looking to developing countries like India as a dumping ground for the cruelty and waste involved in industrial farm animal production." Said Arpan Sharma, Convener, FIAPO "Unfortunately, Indian standards lag behind those of some developed nations, and progressive animal welfare standards are not being implemented by foreign companies in Indian markets. This is unfair to Indian consumers, as most of us would prefer products with high animal welfare standards."

Lincolnshire in UK recently refused permission to a cattle farm similar to the one proposed at IKSEZ. "It is clear that the west itself is moving away from such production systems and India should not permit the establishment of such models that that have demonstrated negative impacts on the environment, small farmers and on animals, added Sharma."

The AWBI letter is available upon request.

Facts:

-- Animal Welfare Board of India is a statutory body of Government of India constituted under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960. At present, the AWBI is working under the aegis of Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.

-- The Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) is an umbrella body of Indian animal welfare groups across the country.

-- According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), "with increasing production, cows need to spend more time eating and thus have less time available for other activities, and may not be able to allocate time enough to fulfill their need for important activities such as resting."

 
For News Release background on Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations (FIAPO) click here
 
Media Contact Details
Arpan Sharma, Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations (FIAPO), +91 9871877373, arpan@fiapo.org
 
 
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