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New footage shows dairy industry continues suffering of cows

New footage shows cows chasing after a trailer and repeatedly calling for their calves, as the baby animals are removed. This follows footage released by winter cropping campaigners, showing a calf being roughly thrown into a trailer and another one kicked. These calves were being collected in a paddock which had turned to mud.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has introduced new regulations on the handling of young calves over the last three years, following public outrage over the exposé by SAFE and Farmwatch of calf mis-treatment in the dairy industry.

But SAFE Campaigns Manager Marianne Macdonald says that suffering is inherent in the production of cow’s milk.

"Every time a calf is taken away, this causes distress to the mother and it is clear that the dairy industry is continuing to treat these vulnerable baby animals like disposable objects. This shows that the Government’s bobby calf regulations are just tinkering around the edges and have failed to stop the suffering in the dairy industry," says Ms Macdonald.

"Cows are forcibly impregnated so they produce milk and, to enable that milk to be sold, their calves are discarded like a waste product. That’s an inconvenient truth for New Zealanders who drink cow’s milk."

"The dairy industry is also damaging our waterways and environment. Most of our rivers are unswimmable and nitrates from dairy farms are polluting our aquifers. Over 22% of our greenhouse gas emissions - more than those produced by all forms of transport - come from the dairy industry, which continues to cause suffering to mother cows and their calves."

"We can move away from dairy. It needs a bold, new mind-set, but our agricultural sector can transition to producing plant-based foods that are kinder to animals and the environment. Some dairy farmers are already moving into horticulture. In the meantime, there are many plant-based alternatives to drinking cow’s milk and caring Kiwis can sign up to our dairy-free challenge."

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