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Five dairy owners in Banaskantha’s Palanpur were booked for allegedly using banned oxytocin injection to increase milk producing capacity of their buffaloes.

Oxytocin, a schedule H drug, is banned for retail sale by the union government since 2018 due to its misuse in the cattle industry to increase milk production.

According to police, the racket was unearthed during a random visit by two tourists to a few dairy farms in Palanpur.

Police said that the tourists — Surabhi Tripathi and Rubina Ayyar — came to visit Mount Abu, a popular tourist site at Rajasthan-Gujarat border. Ayyar is also a member of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), a non-profit working for animal welfare.

On May 6, Surabhi and Rubina visited Chadotar and Khodla       villages under Palanpur taluka      of Banaskantha, where they interacted with a few dairy farm owners.

According to police, the duo spotted at least five dairy owners in Chadotar and Khodla allegedly using syringes filled with oxytocin drugs on the buffaloes, following which they informed the Palanpur taluka police station.

On May 6 afternoon, teams of police, Food and Drug Control Department and veterinary doctors raided the five dairy farms and seized several bottles of oxytocin and syringes.

The five accused have been identified as Prakash Judal, Ashok Judal and Naresh Judal from Khodla village and Imran Makanojia and Arif Makanojia from Chadotar village.

All have been booked under sections of IPC 429 for killing or maiming cattle and sections of the prevention of cruelty against animals act in five separate FIRs lodged at Palanpur taluka police station on Saturday night.

All five accused own an average of 10-12 buffaloes with them at their farm.

“After a complaint was made by the two persons, a team was formed under a PSI level officer and dairy farms were raided. We have confiscated over 12 bottles of oxytocin and the veterinarian has collected blood samples of buffaloes for testing,” said a senior police official.

“The entire operation continued till Saturday morning after which FIRs were lodged. The farm owners were initially detained during the raid,” the official added.

Speaking to The Indian Express , Rubina said that the accused dairy farm owners were easily accessing the oxytocin drugs from local chemist shops. “The dairy farm owners we interacted with told us that they procure the drugs from a local chemist shop and feed them to buffaloes who have stopped giving milk. Such drugs not only affect the animals but it also has impacts on the humans who consume their milk,” Rubina said.

“All five dairy farm owners have tied up with Banas Dairy to supply milk to them. Is it not the responsibility of Banas Dairy and their veterinarians to check whether their sources of milk are being fed oxytocin,” she added.

Source : Indian Express , May 09 2022