Acts that lay down Standards for Dairy Farming

Dairy development in India is acknowledged world over as one of modern India’s most successful developmental programmes. It has one of the largest livestock populations globally and is the No 1 milk producing country in the world, making dairying an important secondary source of income for millions of rural families. The major milk producing states are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana and they together account for about 70% of the total milk produced in the country.

Urban food producing systems are usually identified with organszed and largely unorganised dairy farms. These could be urban/peri-urban farms vs rural farms; farms that demonstrate land ownership patterns such as that of land owning vs landless farms; and farms characterised by different income levels and composition, labour use patterns, production costs and hypothetical scenarios involving changes in factors affecting milk production. Peri-urban dairy farms are typically driven by market-oriented milk production where composition of livestock breeds is different than farms in other villages located at a fair distance from urban areas.

To ensure proper development and growth of the dairy and livestock sector, Government of India has instituted various laws and regulations. The organised dairy sector has been paying increasing attention, though not adequate, on improving quality of products. Enforcement of rules is concentrated mostly on this sector, while the unorganised dairy sector remains largely unattended. Food legislation has a critical role to play to ensure peri urban farmers, small holders and others, especially in the unorganised sector, adhere to legal frameworks, norms and standards. It is an important pre-requisite for protection of consumer’s health and facilitating free and fair trade. Other concerns addressed by food legislation include development of quality assurance systems and overall evolution of the industry. Several Acts regulate safety and quality of foods, domestically produced and imported. Few of them are listed below.

1. Food safety and standards act (FSSA), 2006: The Ministry of Law & Justice, Government of India introduced the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 to consolidate laws related to food and to establish the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. Under the Law, both Food Safety and Standards Rules, 2011 and Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011 have been laid down to regulate manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import and to ensure availability of safe and wholesome foods for consumption by humans.
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2. Prevention and control of infectious and contagious diseases in animals act, 2009: This Act is an erstwhile act related to the Animal Husbandry sector in the country. Though now subsumed by the FSSA 2005, the Ministry of Law & Justice established the Act which provided guidelines for prevention, control and eradication of infectious and contagious diseases in animals. It outlined specific guidelines for prevention of outbreak and spread of such diseases from one state to another, along with meeting international obligations with a view to facilitate import and export of animals and animal products.
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3. Indian veterinary council act, 1984: The Act was established to regulate practices and provide for the establishment of the Veterinary Council of India and State Veterinary Councils which could maintain and register veterinary practitioners. For the purpose of a regulated animal husbandry practices culture, the Council establishment created regulations across the country which were particularly important in terms of livestock care and disease management.
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