Dec 01, 2015
On 30 November 2015 video footage prepared by New Zealand animal rights group ‘Farmwatch’ aired on national television in New Zealand. The footage exposed incidents of appalling treatment of calves at different points along the New Zealand bobby calf supply chain.
The Australian dairy industry has been shocked by the cruelty shown in the footage. Any mistreatment of animals, including this cruel behavior, is completely unacceptable.
Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) and its farmer members take their responsibilities for animal welfare seriously and are committed to continuous improvement in their animal husbandry practices. All animals, including calves must be treated with care.
This footage in no way represents reality for the majority of people in the Australian dairy industry responsible for calves and cows. We want to reassure our customers and consumers to know we are actively engaging with farmers, manufacturers and transporters to ensure such practices do not happen on Australian dairy farms.
The Australian dairy industry supports the draft Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Cattle as well as the Land Transport Standards and Guidelines. These were developed in partnership with the animal welfare groups and Government, and provide industry with clear animal health and welfare standards.
The dairy industry expects that all persons managing livestock abide by these standards and is committed to working with farmers to ensure best practice is observed on farm.
ADF, in collaboration with Dairy Australia, and other industry partners continues to work closely with transporters and the meat industry to ensure our cows and calves are well looked after. We also continue to work with industry, Government and animal welfare groups such as the RSPCA to ensure the wellbeing of our herds in all farming systems.
For further information regarding this matter, please see the DairyNZ and Federated Farmers joint statement here