Q. Dairies give their milch animals injections of Oxytocin in order to induce milk. Is this illegal?
A. Yes. Use of Oxytocin injections on milch animal in order to induce milk is illegal and amounts to cruelty against the animal under Section 12 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. It is a cognizable offence and the offender shall be punishable with a fine, which may extend upto one thousand rupees, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend upto two years, or with both, and the animal on which the operation was performed shall be forfeited to the Government. The proprieter of the shop selling these drugs to a dairy shall be liable to lose his licence as a pharmacist or shopkeeper in addition to criminal charges with punishment of upto 5 years in prison.
The Government of India has acknowledged the negative effects of Oxytocin and declared it as a scheduled substance. It is illegal under the Food and Drug Adulteration Act to give these injections to animals. These rules apply to milkmen too.
Under the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, Oxytocin has been classified as a Prescription drug. No person/milkman can purchase the drug without a prescription from a registered medical practitioner or registered veterinarian. But, despite this, Oxytocin ampoules are easily and readily available not only at chemists but also from other unauthorized outlets in markets situated close to dairies.