It was a heartbreaking scene as a mother cow chased after her calves as they were driven away in an open trailer. In the video released by the animal welfare organization Safe, the mother is seen running quickly behind the trailer as she desperately tries to catch up with it and be reunited with her babies.
According to the Safe’s Facebook page, the following statements described what happened:
“There are millions of reasons to be dairy-free. Here is one of them.
This video showing a cow chasing after a trailer was sent to SAFE by a concerned member of the public. In the dairy industry cows are impregnated every year, with calves taken from their mothers so humans can have their milk. In NZ up to two million are sent to slaughter at 4 days old, as ‘wastage’.”
The video began with the mother cantering closely behind the trailer as it is pulled away from her by a truck carrying her calves. The separation process can be seen here to be extremely stressful for both the mother and the calves. In all likelihood, the calves are males and are being taken away to be slaughtered for their meat – veal which mostly comes from young males not used for breeding. Standard industry practice dictates calves be separated from their mothers within 12 hours of birth.
“Like other mammals, a mother cow must give birth in order to produce milk. Calves are taken from their grieving mothers – around 2 million killed as young as four days of age. They are regarded as unwanted by-products.”
In the November Horizon Research survey:
- 50% of people either thought it was false or did not know that a cow needs to give birth each year to produce milk.
- Over 80% of the public vastly underestimate the number of bobby calves killed per year.
- There is widespread condemnation of the killing of bobby calves soon after birth, with 60% of people feeling it is not acceptable.
- When asked how much trust and confidence they had in the dairy industry to ensure bobby calves are treated humanely, 47% were unconfident.
Studies have shown calves who grow up with their mothers display less erratic behaviors, are more sociable and even enjoy play breaks. They gain weight quicker and have fewer health problems. And if for anything else – can it be any clearer the distress these mother cows and their calves endure?
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(Photos of mother cow chasing after her babies freeze shots of video via Safe)