People in India deeply concerned for welfare of dairy animals

A new survey commissioned by World Animal Protection has shown the cruel treatment of animals in local dairies in India is unacceptable to almost 90% of people who responded; highlighting strong support for better protection of dairy animals across the country.

Almost half of those surveyed were unaware that millions of dairy animals are being kept in illegal, unregulated local dairies in their cities and suburbs - in cruel, barren and unsanitary conditions, often deprived of their basic needs, such as access to clean water and food, and being tethered their whole lives.

With almost 300 million dairy cows and buffalo, India is by far the largest dairy producer in the world. Indian people care strongly about the welfare of animals, with 90% of respondents stating they want to see better lives for dairy animals that provide milk for them and their families.

The survey also reveals:

  • almost 90% of people surveyed strongly agree dairies should be closed if they don’t consider the welfare needs of dairy animals
  • almost 87% think the government should intervene and bring in better welfare standards and practices to protect dairy animals
  • nearly 90% are more likely to buy products from a company that sources from dairies adopting better animal welfare practices
  • 3 out of 4 who regularly buy dairy brands would be willing to pay 5-10% more for products that come from dairies offering better animal welfare.

The survey is part of World Animal Protection’s campaign to improve the lives of dairy cows and buffaloes used for milk production in dairies across India. We are working with corporates, milk cooperatives, retailers and industry associations to create better lives for dairy cattle; and are moving the government to improve welfare of dairy animals.

The results of the survey have prompted World Animal Protection, on National Milk Day, to call on the people to demand for better welfare for dairy animals in India.


Sign the petition

Ask the Department of Animal Husbandry, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, to end the suffering of dairy animals, by phasing out urban and peri-urban dairies, and implementing welfare standards that protect all dairy animals across India. 

The hidden reality of many local dairies in and around cities in India

India is home to the world’s largest dairy herd, with numbers continuing to grow. An ever increasing demand for milk, is pushing productivity, with dairy cattle being forced to produce milk in unnatural and highly stressful situations. Up to 50 million dairy animals are suffering every day in unacceptable conditions on dairy farms;with millions kept in illegal local dairies located in our cities and suburbs (known as urban and peri-urban dairies).

These animals are living in in overcrowded, barren conditions, causing them immense suffering and stress. They suffer malnutrition, have inadequate sheltering and don’t have access to proper breeding and healthcare facilities.

Without intervention, millions more dairy animals will be kept cramped indoors, spending their whole lives tied up, unable to interact as herd animals, and denied their basic freedoms. Dairy animals, like all animals have a right to live a life where they can express natural behaviour, and be free from pain, stress, suffering, hunger and thirst.

To know more about our work on the dairy sector in India and to access the National Code of Practices for Management of Dairy Animals in India, click here.


Tell the world: