Monday, 4 February 2013

Killing the kids ... well, er, the calves



This little dairy calf was found lying against the bars of a noisy holding pen. He was calling for his mother, but he would never see her again. Instead, born without economic 'worth', he had been discarded — destined to be killed — like most calves born into the Australian dairy industry...

Theirs is a story that's seldom told, and very rarely seen. When Animals Australia was supplied withhidden camera footage from an abattoir in Northern Victoria, we immediately submitted formal complaints to state authorities in relation to theillegal abuse of week-old calves. The footage sparked official investigations, and one by ABC's Lateline — exposing on national television the appalling treatment of these baby animals.
See the investigation video

Watch the investigation video, and help save other calves from abuse by exposing animal cruelty. 

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These baby calves were discarded as 'waste products' of the dairy industry

Without this undercover footage, the abuse and suffering of these calves would likely have gone unnoticed. Their lives, and their deaths, would have simply slipped away out of sight. With this, the latest in a string of abattoir cruelty cases over the past 15 months, it is clear that regulations and audits are failing to protect animals from illegal cruelty.

Inconceivably, the workers who hit, threw and shocked these calves with electric prods have only been 'formally warned', not prosecuted. But even when no laws are broken, the fate of hundreds of thousands of 'bobby calves' in Australia is bleak. Few dairy consumers are aware that in order to produce milk, a cow needs to be impregnated. She carries her unborn calf for nine months, only to have her baby taken away shortly after birth. Nearly all male calves and some female calves are deemed economically worthless. They are killed — some are hit on the head with a hammer on farm, but most of these tiny calves are trucked to a slaughterhouse within their first week of life. Over 700,000 week-old dairy calves are sent to slaughter every year. Inconvenient, unwanted, vulnerable, confused... this is the reality of industrialised milk production.

The dairy industry knows that most Australians would find the mass slaughter of unwanted calves unethical and unacceptable, which is why this dark secret has been kept from consumers for so long. The truth behind dairy production and the fate of these unwanted calves is a story that each and every Australian needs to know...

As more and more people become aware of the reality behind dairy and make kinder choices, the list of delicious, readily available dairy-free options just keeps growing. And if you're wondering where you'll get your calcium, you might be surprised to discover that the calcium myth is well and truly busted!

Authorities may have failed to prosecute in this case, but it is within our power to make choices that will ensure that vulnerable animals are not put at such risk in the first place. Once again, the key to change for animals in need rests with us as individuals and as communities making compassionate and informed choices. This is a story that needs to be told.

Please help us tell it by supporting our efforts to lift the veil on the plight of dairy calves everywhere.

LynFor the animals,
Lyn
Lyn White
Campaign Director

P.S. If you would like to support our vital campaign work on behalf of bobby calves, please consider giving a loving home to an adorable plush calf, through a bobby calf symbolic adoption.

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