New video footage has emerged exposing the dark side of New Zealand’s Dairy Industry, where male calves that are torn from their mothers are ‘beaten to death’.
An investigation carried out by animal rights group SAFE has put the country’s dairy industry under the spotlight and is now calling on New Zealand and international customers to ditch dairy following the barbaric cruelty inflicted on calves, which was uncovered in this eye-opening exposé.
The group says it reveals inherent cruelty and deliberate, violent abuse of helpless baby calves. Filmed by hidden cameras at numerous locations, footage was shown on TV ONE’s Sunday, with SAFE executive director Hans Kriek warning: “New Zealanders will be horrified by this footage.”
The commonplace treatment of the unwanted male ‘bobby’ calves is simply shocking and according to the group, two million are killed each season at only four days old.
In the horrific video, cows can be seen desperately running after their babies, after they are removed from them at only a few hours of age.
These calves are destined for slaughter in crates at the side of the road for up to eight hours before transportation.
The footage rolls to truck drivers throwing calves into the back of trucks – like sacks of potatoes – seriously injuring the calves or killing them before they are slaughtered in the abattoir. Those who don’t survive are thrown onto dead-piles at farm gates.
The most harrowing image of them all, is seeing a slaughterman throwing and kicking several helpless calves before clubbing them or slitting their throats.
Farmwatch investigator John Darroch said he saw deliberately cruel treatment of calves at about 15 of the 50 farms he secretly filmed across the Waikato.
Speaking to the New Zealand Herald, Darroch spoke of his shock of the scale of brutality shown by the dairy farmers identified in the video.
I wasn’t expecting to see this- not in the slightest. We have been getting calls from people in rural communities – including farmers – for many years asking us to look into the treatment of bobby calves. But I had no idea that every time we posted a hidden camera we would get brutal treatment of calves. The scale and the frequency absolutely stunned me.
The maximum penalty for wilful ill-treatment is five years in prison and $100,000 for individuals, and a maximum of $500,000 for a company.
An additional $10 million in new funding was provided in the 2015 Budget for animal welfare. Parliament has passed the Animal Welfare Amendment Act 2015 to improve compliance and enforcement.
The new video footage has prompted an investigation by the Ministry for Primary Industries who oversees the dairy industry.