New dairy footage exposes ongoing cruelty in industry

Dairy farming is once again in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.  New footage obtained by Farmwatch investigators shows that a year on from our explosive 2015 exposé of the New Zealand dairy industry, calves continue to be mistreated. In the 2016 calving season investigation, calves are seen being pulled out of cages, thrown into transport trucks and roughly dragged away by their hind legs, and mother cows are recorded desperately trying to stay with their calves.

The footage exposes that it is business as usual in the dairy industry; an industry that continues to cause animal suffering.

The brutal throwing of calves, together with their appalling treatment at the Down Cow slaughterhouse, created a public outcry in November 2015, with concern reported internationally. While one of the workers involved was prosecuted, animals continue to suffer.

As a result of SAFE and Farmwatch’s 2015 investigation, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and the dairy industry were forced to respond. They have attempted to deflect attention to the Down Cow slaughterhouse cruelty, while minimising the harsh treatment of the calves on farms and during transport. In an attempt to allay the public’s concerns, official statements portray that mistreatment is not widespread. This is not, however, reflected by what has been observed in the new footage, with the majority of interactions filmed between workers and calves involving mishandling.

Following last year’s exposé of cruelty in the NZ dairy industry, in August this year MPI released regulations on the treatment of bobby calves. The new laws are mediocre at best for the almost two million bobby calves slaughtered every single year, especially as many of these regulations don’t come in to force until 2017. It is likely that the farmers and truck drivers who were ignoring the previous rules will continue to do so again.

Farmwatch says that rather than stopping cruelty to calves, the industry appears to be doing their best to hide the loading of those calves. The cages used for holding calves, before they are thrown into trucks, have been moved down long driveways, out of sight.

Take Action:

The power to stop this cruelty is in our hands: if the thought of treating baby calves like this is unacceptable to you, then please send an email to the government now.

Take a compassionate stand in joining the thousands of caring individuals who are already using alternatives to milk and other dairy products. Take the dairy-free pledge and we will send you helpful tips to get to started.

26 October 2016