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PETA proposes new welfare standards for animals on dairy farms

PETA Published on 21 April 2011

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Summary: Progressive Dairyman Editor Karen Lee provided a preview of her "3 open minutes" interview with PETA's corporate liaison, Amber Driscoll, featured in the May 2nd issue. The preview article provided a list of the standards PETA was proposing, including an effort to end dehorning and taildocking. While the article topic drew plenty of comments, both online and via mail, we'd have to say our favorite response came from dairywoman Wilma Kint:

It would give me great pleasure to place Amber Driscoll in a holding pen with a herd of Ayrshire cows with their long, sharp horns.
—Wilma D. Kint, born and raised on a dairy farm, still working here at the age of 83

[Click here or on the image above right to see the full list of the Top 25 articles of 2011. Click here to see the list from 2010.]

ARTICLE

Editor's note: The following is a news release by animal activist organization PETA. Look for a "3 open minutes" interview on this topic in the May 21st issue of Progressive Dairyman. In the meantime, leave your below. What would these proposed changes mean for your operation?

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PETA has launched a new initiative calling on grocery chains, restaurants, and dairies nationwide to adopt five basic animal welfare requirements and standards that would dramatically improve the lives of cows and calves on dairy farms.

Under the new guidelines, vendors would commit to purchasing products only from those farms and co-ops that adhere to these minimal welfare standards.

The initiative is being launched in the wake of a Mercy for Animals undercover investigation, which documented that workers on a Texas dairy farm bludgeoned calves in the head with pickaxes and hammers, burned calves' budding horns out of their skulls using no pain relief, and routinely committed other atrocities.

A PETA investigation of a Land O'Lakes dairy supplier found similar abuses.

"The abuse of dairy cows and their calves is rampant on dairy factory farms as our undercover videos show," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "PETA wants pizza and ice cream chains, grocery stores, and others who sell dairy products to require that suppliers adhere to minimal guidelines to prevent the worst abuses suffered by cows and their calves on dairy factory farms."

PETA's new standards of care include the following:

  • Keeping facilities clean and providing adequate flooring, foot care, and bedding
  • Immediately euthanizing "downed" cows who can no longer walk
  • Ending de-horning and tail-docking, cruel procedures in which cows have a portion of their tails cut off and their horns cut out of their skulls
  • Banning the use of bovine growth hormone, which contributes to lameness and a painful inflammation of the udder known as "mastitis" and which has already been banned in Europe and Canada
  • Providing group housing for female calves, without tethering

PETA has a long history of working successfully with companies to incorporate minimum animal welfare practices and standards into their supply chains.

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For more information, visit PETA.org

—From PETA news release

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