Dead calves cover the length of New Zealand

‘DROP DAIRY’ – these words are now plastered on an eye-catching billboard that has gone up in a high visibility location in central Auckland today.  Approximately two million ‘bobby’ calves are killed at a few days old in New Zealand, and if their bodies were placed end to end, it would create a ‘trail of death’ stretching from Bluff to Cape Reinga.

The ‘Drop Dairy’ billboard forms part of the campaign to raise awareness of the unwanted bobby calves killed every year by the dairy industry. The production of milk causes widespread animal suffering, from the separation of cows from their young babies, to the harsh treatment of these calves on their way to the slaughterhouse.

New footage released by SAFE and Farmwatch was made public last week, showing calves being thrown onto trucks, a calf being dragged by his limbs, and mothers desperately trying to stop their babies being taken away. This follows on from the explosive 2015 footage revealing calves suffering on farms, trucks and in a slaughterhouse.

In response to last week’s exposé, farming interests appeared to seek to trivialise the matter, ranging from publicly defending the treatment of calves to dismissing concerns. The callous, indifferent attitude voiced by dairy industry representatives about the treatment of calves reinforces the fact that they are out of touch with public thinking.

Born to keep their mothers producing milk, unwanted bobby calves are slaughtered as waste products. 


  • SAFE urges people who agree that the cruel treatment of cows and their calves is unacceptable to join the thousands of caring individuals who are already using alternatives to milk and other dairy products by taking the dairy-free pledge.

1 November 2016