We usually tend to treat going vegan as one of the solutions for saving our environment. Well that is indeed a fair option as we have literally consumed the environment so much in every way possible till now that there is nothing left at present to extract from her. Ranging from cutting down trees for woods, paper and constructing establishments to poaching animals for valuable ivory et al to relishing turkeys on our dinner tables – we humans have had it all from the nature.
India being rich in wildlife and lush greens have the overabundance of natural resources for its citizens. But in my views what it really lacks is the proper treatment of such valuable natural assets that it has. Being a land of diversity India is richly diversified as far as the taste buds of its citizens’ are concerned. While some of its states have a street vegan code some communities relish it all except the veggies. The crux is India has always been an agrarian country and admit it or not but the rural scenario forms the heart of the nation even today. And agriculture is incomplete without the role of animals in it. Animals have played an insignificant role in shaping up the economy of our nation since ancient times. Be it cattle or poultry or herds of sheep or the hamburgers that we all cherish – the roles of animals have been an integral part of our civilization. They compliment the farming industry of our country with their unquestionable surrender to the mankind.
But what is really unfortunate is that despite being taken various steps to improvise the status of the animal kingdom we as a nation still lacks in the framework of animal farming.
India probably has the largest network of cattle and poultry in its share which contributes heavily to the economy of the nation. Next comes the herd of buffaloes which has the extra layers of cream to its share of milk providing a rich, creamy taste to everything produced with the help of buffalo milk. And then there are the pigs – though not that much popular as a delicacy yet have a considerable share in the production of few mouth-watering dishes that we all relish. States such as Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu can be said to be the active participator in animal husbandry or animal farming. The state governments have done and are still doing their bit of improvising the status of the animal farming in the concerned states, yet they are still lagging behind if the world scenario is concerned.
Apart from Operation Flood in Anand in Gujarat followed by the establishment of National Dairy Development Board in 1965 India has not come up with any new animal farming methodologies or initiatives so far. But the bright side is that the follow up of these two initiatives has been quite impressive as at 2014 India stands as the leading nation in milk production.
Therefore, it can be undoubtedly said that cattle dominates the animal farming arena in out country. But what about others such as sheep, goats and pigs…?? or even poultry for that matter …??
All these areas have experienced little growth especially if the hygiene quotient is concerned.
Let us start with the poultry. Haryana, one of the leading state in the poultry rearing has the battery cage facility provided by the government for the proper rearing of the poultry. Looking at the bright side poultry is the second largest dominating arena in the animal farming industry with eggs and poultry meat being the most preferred items both within and outside India. Battery cage facility basically refers to a more prominent form of poultry storage facility as compared to the domestication farming of the same. But what it lacks is the equal maintenance of the hygiene quotient.
Each cells or battery has a fixed number of hens to be caged which has been set by the concerned authorities depending upon the area of the room in which the cages are placed.
Each room should have proper ventilation, and none of the cages should be overcrowded.
Regular rounds by the vets have to be there to avoid the spread of any kind of disease both among the hens and the people handling them.
The cages have to be cleaned properly and on a regular basis along with the firmly cultivated seeds and pulses to be provided as a meal.
You must be thinking all these steps are quite enough to ensure the health of the hens as well as of those consuming them. But the dark side does exists which reflects little of the specified measures. The battery cage facility is often misused by stuffing uncountable number of hens in one cage itself which often chokes the creatures as there hardly left any space for ventilation.
One must not have the opportunity to avoid a scene of three-wheeler autorickshaws carrying hens in cages. And seeing them one can easily deduce the extent to which the cleanliness measures are followed.
Even though home-brands such a Godrej and Venkys are doing well in the global market privatisation has no doubt adversely affected the animal husbandry of our nation. Brands such as McD or KFC running outlets in India are often being reported to have bought the chickens from local unauthorised sellers supplying chickens with no hygiene guarantee in the least capital. The sole aim of profit-making even if it means ignoring the hygiene quotient is a serious concern in the present times.
Then there are the pigs who lives in the most pitiable condition in our country. Apart from certain small yet highly successful initiatives such as Kiran by National Research Centre on Pig least attention is being paid to these creatures.
This is an unfortunate fact despite pigs being one of the significant animals to be reared especially among the tribal communities of the North-East region of India. Breeding management and control of rampant diseases such as Anaemia and swine diseases in piglets are the most notable problems that need urgent attention.
What really needed here is the less of privatisation and more of government attention provided equally to all the sectors of animal husbandry. Cows and buffaloes followed by goats, sheep and poultry tend to dominate the stage completely. While pigs and yaks and the camels – the only hope in regions such as Leh and Rajasthan should also have equal share of attention to their growth, shelter, and immunisations facilities.
Another way through which the proper animal farming can be promoted is by promoting a quality career out of it such as that of Veterinaries. Despite having a quantitative amount of animals for variety of utilization India has only handful of top-rated or well-qualified veterinaries and hospitals.