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Delhi HC Directs Action Against Use of Oxytocin in Dairy Colonies

The Delhi High Court has directed authorities to take action against the spurious use of oxytocin in dairy colonies here, saying the administration of the hormone amounts to animal cruelty and is an offence.

A bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan Court asked the Delhi government’s department of drugs control to conduct weekly inspections and register cases which will be investigated by the police.

The court further asked the Intelligence Department of Delhi Police to identify the sources of oxytocin production, packaging and distribution and take action in accordance with law.

The court’s order came on a petition by Sunayana Sibal and others concerning the state of dairies in the national capital.

The bench, also comprising Justice Manmeet PS Arora, recorded that one of the issues flagged by the court commissioner was the “rampant use” of oxytocin to force milk let-down and to increase production of milk in the cattle.

“Since administering of oxytocin amounts to animal cruelty and is a cognisable offence under Section 12 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, consequently, this Court directs the Department of Drugs Control, GNCTD to conduct weekly inspections and ensure that all cases of spurious oxytocin usage or possession are registered under Section 12 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and Section 18(a) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940,” the court said in its order passed on May 1.

“The said offences are directed to be investigated by the jurisdictional police stations. The Intelligence Department of Delhi Police is directed to identify the sources of such spurious oxytocin production, packaging and distribution and take action in accordance with law,” it added.

The court also opined that the dairies should be relocated in areas having proper sewage, drainage, biogas plant, ample open space for the cattle to move around and enough grazing area.

It recorded that as per the court commissioner, the condition of all nine designated dairy colonies in Delhi — Kakrola Dairy, Goela Dairy, Nangli Shakrawati Dairy, Jharoda Dairy, Bhalaswa Dairy, Ghazipur Dairy, Shahbad Daulatpur Dairy, Madanpur Khadar Dairy and Masoodpur Dairy — was “bad”.

Considering that the Ghazipur Dairy and Bhalaswa Dairy were located next to sanitary landfill sites, the court observed that there was an “urgent” need to relocate them and sought the presence of the MCD Commissioner, MCD Director of Veterinary, Delhi Chief Secretary, DUSIB CEO and FSSAI CEO to virtually join the proceedings on the next date of hearing.

“Keeping in view the apprehension that dairies next to the landfill sites can cause illness and public health hazards, this court is prima facie of the view that these dairies need to be relocated forthwith. But before issuing any binding direction, this court would like to hear from the concerned officials as to how these directions should be implemented,” it stated.

The court said the officials shall explore the possibility of availability of land where the dairies could be rehabilitated and relocated, while asking the chief secretary to hold a prior meeting with the relevant officials before appearing before it on May 8.

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