The grim reality of the dairy industry is that cows must repeatedly be made pregnant to keep producing milk and large numbers of calves are killed annually in New Zealand as an unwanted by-product.
New research shows that half of Kiwis are unaware of these facts, so a giant, thought-provoking billboard has been erected in the Auckland CBD. A cow and her newborn calf are pictured together with the message, ‘Their first and last day together’. The text goes on to explain that, ‘She was taking for milking. He was taken for slaughter’.
It is standard practise for calves are taken from their mothers soon after birth so that their mothers’ milk can be sold. While some calves are transitioned into use for dairy and some to grow for beef or veal, vast numbers of these babies are killed at approximately 4 days old. Slaughter statistics show up to a reported two million calves are killed annually in New Zealand as an unwanted by-product of the dairy industry. Dairy sources suggest up to a million calves could be killed on farms as well.
Despite regulations imposed this year touted as helping to prevent suffering to bobby calves, these vulnerable young animals will continue to go for slaughter. No matter what regulations are put in place, the suffering from separating cows from their babies will continue; those babies ending up dead.