Animal Equality films farm workers beating newborn calves and cows on a
dairy farm in Somerset, England.
Cows being repeatedly kicked and
punched, some just hours after giving birth.
cameras set up this month by Animal Equality investigators captured shocking
scenes of animal abuse on a family-run dairy farm in Somerset, UK. The footage
shows farm workers violently punching tiny calves and kicking cows in the
incidents of workers abusing animals were filmed on Pyrland Farm in just
one day, including:
kicking young calves to make them stand up
twisting cows’ tails and repeatedly slamming metal gates into them
calves to the floor and shouting obscenities in their face
kicking and slapping nursing cows
throwing small calves to the floor
Abusive treatment was not the only suffering
we found on this West Country farm, which runs a farm shop and B&B as
well as supplying Muller Milk (formerly Muller Wiseman), one of the main
processors used by Tesco, Sainsbury’s, M&S and the Coop for their
own-brand milks. After a tip-off from a concerned local resident we made
several visits to this farm and observed animals in obvious pain.
Our investigators first visited the farm
at the end of October and documented at least half a dozen cows with their
back legs in chains called hobbles. These archaic devices are used on mother
cows who have suffered pelvic damage during calving, a common problem for
modern dairy cows who have been selectively bred for high milk production
at the expense of physical well-being. Our covert camera later showed workers
using a ratchet to pull a calf from a cow, raising concerns that rough handling
of calving may be contributing to pelvic injuries.
Footage from the farm also shows cows suffering
from crippling lameness and pressure sores, painful conditions that affect
half of all dairy cows in the UK every year. One cow appeared to be in extreme
discomfort and was struggling to walk. We reported this to the RSPCA immediately.
Our investigators also found two dead calves
lying on the concrete floor just outside of the cowshed, callously left
in full view of nursing and pregnant cows. Both calves were male and had
been shot, common practice on dairy farms as males do not produce milk and
are therefore deemed worthless by many farmers.
Further visits were made to the farm and
cows in chain hobbles were always present, including some who had been in
hobbles since the first visit. The severely lame cow was also still present
and continued to show signs of extreme discomfort. We decided that the farm
warranted further monitoring and on 7th December our investigators installed
a covert camera in one cowshed. We never expected to document scenes of
such shocking abuse.
Animal Equality has handed all of the footage
to the RSPCA and demand that those committing this inexcusable cruelty are
brought to justice.
THE DAIRY INDUSTRY REPEATEDLY IMPREGNATES COWS AND THEN
TAKES AWAY THEIR BABIES SO THAT WE CAN DRINK THE COWS’ BREAST MILK.
BREAKING THIS STRONG MATERNAL BOND CAUSES ENORMOUS EMOTIONAL TRAUMA. The physical strain of constant high milk production causes severe welfare
problems such as lameness, pelvic damage and mastitis (infected teats).
Male calves, who will never produce milk, are routinely shot.
You can help end the suffering of cows and
calves on dairy farms around the world today by choosing plant-based milks,
yogurts, cheeses and ice creams. Sign our pledge to receive more information
on healthy dairy-free eating www.animalequality.net/dairysdarksecret