India’s military is closing its 39 dairy farms to reduce expenses and free up 20,000 acres of land—and over 57,000 troops—from non-combat duties. The military farms were created in 1889 to provide milk and dairy products to troops, but its 25,200 “high-yielding” milk cows—who are cross-bred to produce double the amount of milk of an average cow—accounted for just 14 percent of dairy consumed by the armed forces. In August, the Indian government ordered the shut down of military farms with an implementation deadline of three months, but the military was unable to find buyers for the cows. “There were also fears that in case the cattle were sold to individual farmers or private dairies, the high-yield cows could find their way to slaughterhouses,” reported The Economic Times. The cows are now expected to be transferred to state departments and dairy co-operatives. About seven farms have already been closed and the remaining 32 are expected to shut down soon.
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