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New Zealand dairy industry reputation in tatters

New Zealand dairy industry reputation in tatters after revelations of shocking animal abuse.

Animal advocacy organisations SAFE and Farmwatch are calling on New Zealand and international consumers to ditch dairy following an explosive and comprehensive investigation into animal cruelty in the New Zealand dairy industry. The investigation reveals inherent cruelty and deliberate, violent abuse of helpless baby calves.

Filmed by hidden cameras, footage shown on TV ONE’s Sunday earlier tonight exposed the dark side of the New Zealand dairy industry. Additional graphic footage can be viewed here. The entire investigation shows:

• Cows desperately running after their babies after they are removed from them at only a few hours of age.
• Calves destined for slaughter left in crates at the side of the road for up to eight hours, despite the law requiring them to be fed two hours before transportation.
• Truck drivers roughly throwing calves into the back of trucks.
• Calves thrown onto dead-piles at farm gates.
• A slaughterman violently kicking and throwing helpless calves before bashing them and slitting their throats.

“New Zealanders will be horrified by this footage,” says SAFE executive director Hans Kriek. Filmed at numerous locations, the footage shows that cruel treatment of calves is commonplace. Each season over two million unwanted calves, referred to as bobby calves, are killed as young as four days of age.

“Bobby calves are basically regarded as trash. They are literally left like rubbish, to be picked up at the side of the road. They are just waste products to the industry and are treated accordingly. These animals pay a heavy price for our insatiable appetite for dairy – and massive industry profit.”

Following the undercover investigation, the organisations alerted the Ministry for Primary Industries to the abuse and provided film footage. As yet no action seems to have been taken.

John Darroch from Farmwatch says, “This investigation is the first of its kind to look into New Zealand's dairy industry and I believe what we uncovered will shock consumers. The footage we obtained shows that dairy production in New Zealand involves the systematic abuse of defenseless animals. As an investigator I am used to seeing animal cruelty but the brutality I witnessed towards these calves was beyond belief. The treatment of these animals is nothing like what consumers would expect when they buy dairy products. ”

SAFE believes that consumers have the right to know about how milk is produced, and what this means for the animals. “As most of our dairy produce is sold overseas, we will provide this footage to international media and animal welfare organisations so that consumers can be informed. There is cruelty in every single glass of milk, and now consumers have to decide if they are willing to accept that,” says Mr Kriek.

The groups are asking the public to pledge to cut down or cut out dairy atsafe.org.nz

ENDS

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