Dairy farmers threaten to take to the streets along with their livestock as the Punjab Food Authority revives its plan to start implementing the minimum pasteurisation law.
“If the Food Authority tried to enforce the black law by force, we along with our cattle would protest on roads throughout the province,” threatened Shahbaz Rasool Warraich, chairman of Punjab chapter of the Dairy and Cattle Farmers Association, while responding to PFA Director-General Muddassir Riaz Malik announcement on Monday that the authority has decided to begin implementing the pasteurisation law banning sale of loose milk in a bid to ensure the provision of pure and fresh milk across Punjab.
The law enacted in 2017 was to be implemented by July 2022.
Mr Malik said it would be implemented in some areas of Lahore in the first phase and to be expanded gradually across the province.
Mr Warraich alleged that the authority was safeguarding interest of the packed milk industry to the disadvantage of the farmers engaged in the production and sale of loose milk.
He said the move was aimed at depriving the people of Punjab of fresh milk and concealing the “failure” of the PFA in detecting and arresting the accused involved in the ugly business of fake and adulterated milk.
He demanded that the dairy farmers should be given 10 years of grace period and an ‘enabling’ environment before enforcing the law.
The PFA DG, however, said the law would be implemented during the ongoing calendar year as discussions were ongoing with the dairy farmers’ association and other stakeholders regarding the delivery of traceable milk.
He stressed on adopting international practices to overcome the issues of substandard milk sale. He said that the tractability of milk would be easy after introducing the law while milk would be available in a packed and pasteurised form.
Source : Published in Dawn, Lahore, january 3th, 2023