This is unacceptable and has to stop now!
It's time for Danone to take a public stand and adopt policies that prevent the calf culling, that ban mutilations without pain relief, and that ensure proper care for injured and disabled animals.
All information collected in the investigation was presented to the Public Prosecutor's Office so that they can investigate in depth how the killing and treatment of these animals is carried out, which may constitute a crime of animal abuse and public health.
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WHAT WE FOUND
Male calf found in neglect situation
Illegal transportation of calves
A male calf was found weak and out in the open, exposed to insects, rain, cold, and heat.
Like all animals, calves require attention, proper nutrition and handling, access to shelter, protection from extreme weather conditions, and veterinary assistance when needed.
Without such care, many animals become sick and may even die (10).
There are indications that calves from the investigated farms are transported without vaccination and without issuing the Animal Transport Guide (GTA), which is an official document that is mandatory for the movement of animals, including those exploited by the food industry.
Its purpose is to monitor the movement of these animals in order to prevent tax evasion and the appearance of diseases that endanger the health of the population.
Calves are kept on short chains, which undermines their well-being and health. This practice is prohibited in all European Union countries (3).
Cattle like to live close to each other; studies indicate that they are able to create affective ties with companions and identify each other (4).
Tying them with short ropes makes it impossible for them to walk freely, interact with other individuals, and protect themselves from extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain, heat, and cold (5,6). This can also cause frustration and stress (7,8).
‘Home’ slaughtering of calves
Injured cows do not receive adequate treatment
Suppliers prevent recordings for fear of consequences
As they have no use in milk production, newborn male calves are commonly discarded (1). There are indications that they are donated for slaughter within a few hours or days of life and that they are transported and killed in unlawful ways.
A survey (2) shows that, in dairy farms in Brazil, it is common for newborn calves to be slaughtered via head trauma (through blows to the head), bleeding, and asphyxia.
Adult cows are kept in sheds with concrete floors, which often leads to injuries (9) and, in some cases, falls. Cows that are no longer able to move are lifted by tractor to be taken to the slaughterhouse.
Our investigation team was prevented from recording several procedures by order of the owners and employees of the farms.
What else can you do to help animals?
A campaign by
Hazle saber a Walmart y todas sus marcas en Chile que esto es inaceptable.
Remember: the best way to protect these animals is not to consume dairy products and opt for plant-based milk, yogurt, and cheese.
(1) Embrapa, 2022. Workshop - Estratégias de produção de vitelos e novilhos precoces a partir de machos de rebanhos de leite.
(2) Hötzel, MJ, Longo, C, Balcão, L, Cardoso, CS. 2014. A Survey of Management Practices That Influence Performance and Welfare of Dairy Calves Reared in Southern Brazil. PLoS ONE 9(12): e114995.
(4) McLennan, KM, 2013. Social bonds in dairy cattle: the effect of dynamic group systems on welfare and productivity. Tese de doutorado. The University of Northampton.
(6) Pereira, LCA, Madella-Oliveira, AF, 2020. Bem-estar de bezerros durante o aleitamento e a desmama em diferentes sistemas de criação: Revisão. Pubvet, v.14, n.8, a628, p.1-11.
(7) Dawkins, MS, 2011. From an animal's point of view: Motivation, fitness, and animal welfare. Publicado online pela Cambridge University Press.
(8) Friend, TH, Dellmeier, GR , 1988. Common practices and problems related to artificially rearing calves: An ethological analysis. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Volume 20, edições 1–2, pp. 47-62.
(9) Costa, JHC, Burnett, TA, von Keyserlingk, MAG, Hötzel, MJ, 2018. Prevalence of lameness and leg lesions of lactating dairy cows housed in southern Brazil: Effects of housing systems. J. Dairy Sci. 101:1–11.
(10) Fruscalso, V, Olmos, G, Hötzel,MJ, 2020. Dairy calves’ mortality survey and associated management practices in smallholding, pasture-based herds in southern Brazil. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, Volume 175, February 2020, 104835.