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Delhi High Court pulls up Animal Husbandry Unit over violations in dairy colonies

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The Delhi High Court has come down heavily on the Animal Husbandry Unit of the Delhi government, observing that there is a “lack of will” in State functionaries to stop the “rampant violation of laws” by dairy owners in the nine dairy colonies in the Capital.

“These violations not only affect the public health of the citizens and residents who are consuming the milk being produced in these dairies, but are also wrapped in extreme cruelty to the animals housed there,” the court noted in its May 27 order.

Last year, a Delhi High Court-appointed Court Commissioner tasked with inspecting the nine dairy colonies in the Capital had found that several norms were being violated. The dairy units were operating in poor hygiene, the holding areas were overcrowded with little space for the cattle to move, and milch animals were found to be in poor health. Moreover, the inspection report revealed that several common issues were plaguing each dairy colony, such as the presence of solid waste overflowing in open drains.

During the hearing, the counsel for petitioner Sunayana Sibal showed the Bench photographs of the Bhalswa dairy colony, dated May 26, which showed the cattle grazing at the base of sanitary landfill and eating garbage. “The Delhi government has decided to turn a blind eye to the horrific conditions in these dairy colonies,” he said.

The court remarked that the Animal Husbandry Unit has not only failed in discharging its primary function of granting and regulating the licenses of these dairies, but has also not provided for functional veterinary hospitals in the area.

“The State’s lack of will to shift Ghazipur and Bhalswa dairy colonies to an alternate site despite the presence of sanitary landfills shows that decisions are being taken for considerations not relevant and germane to public health,” the Bench said.


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While listing the case for further hearing in July, the court made the Drugs Controller General of India, Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, and Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs party in the case.

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