A ‘local’ UK farm is under investigation after undercover footage revealed shocking treatment of farmers punching, kicking and throwing tiny newborn calves.
Footage released by animal rights group Surge documents horrific treatment of the farm’s animals as farmers use hose pipes and crutches to control mother cows.
The charity said in a statement: “The UK dairy industry prides itself on high welfare standards, happy animals and humane treatment.
“However, the reality is that there is no happy or humane way to exploit or use an animal for our own gain – and welfare standards do not protect animals from exploitation and abuse.”
The video also shows animals being force fed, and standard dairy farming processes of artificial insemination and separating newborn baby calves from their mothers.
In a heartbreaking moment in the video a mother cow is seen giving birth to a stillborn calf, which she then attempts to rear.
The statements continued: “Whilst animals continue to be viewed as commodities and treated as such, their lives will never be valued within an industry whose only objective is to profit off of their bodies.
“Abuse towards animals is not only isolated on this farm but exists within the entire industry, meaning the only way to take a stand against animal abuse is to live vegan.”
Newborn female calves are routinely separated from their mothers, and are eventually artificially inseminated and suffer the same fate as their mothers.
“Mother cows have an incredibly deep, loving connection to their children, just as we humans do to our children,” Surge explained.
“The social structure within herds is based on matriarchal families, with mother cows and their daughters remaining grooming and grazing partners for their whole lives.”
Male calves are not of use to the dairy industry so are discarded by dairy farmers. They are either transferred to the meat industry or shot soon after birth. Surge estimated that 90,000 male calves are killed a year.
The farm is now under investigation after footage was handed over to the RSPCA.
Sara Howlett, RSPCA national media manager, said: “This footage is distressing and we are looking in to it. We urge anyone with concerns about animal welfare to contact us on 0300 1234 999 as soon as possible so we or the relevant authority can act on the information and alleviate any potential suffering.”
According to Health and Safety Executive guidelines (HSE) workers should “never use sticks and prods to strike an animal”.
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